The percentage of adults that is overweight or obese is high in the Netherlands (see table). Weight gain occurs because of a prolonged, often subtle, imbalance in the energy balance. The energy balance is influenced by a complex interaction of genetic, biological, psychosocial and environmental factors. (Dutch Obesity Association)
According to the TNO National Growth Study, the percentage of overweight children has doubled since the 1980s. 14% of the native Dutch children are overweight and this percentage is even higher for children of Turkish or Moroccan descent.
Scientists have proved that the Mediterranean Diet protects against the development of obesity. The diets of approximately 3000 men and women were monitored. The more these people stuck to the principles of the Mediterranean Diet, the more their Body Mass Index decreased (Shroeder H. et al. (2004). The Journal of Nutrition). In another study. the eating habits of children from eight different countries were analysed. This study also showed that children who follow the principles of the Mediterranean Diet have a lower risk of becoming overweight or obese. (Tognon, G et al. ( 2013). Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis).