Boys more likely to be overweight than girls

One way to keep the weight off: primary school children in Basel. Keystone / Georgios Kefalas

More young men tend to be overweight than young women, according to a study of schoolchildren in Basel, Bern and Zurich.

This content was published on May 27, 2021 - 15:54

Some 14,000 children and teenagers were put on the scales during the 2019-2020 school year, with 17.1% of them recorded as overweight, the Swiss Health Promotion body said on Thursday.

Overweight in this case means a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 25, the association said. Some 4.2% were obese, with a BMI over 30.

Overall the values were similar to previous measurements, although a significant difference was noted between boys and girls this time. This was especially clear in the 14- to 16-year-old category, where 26.8% of boys were overweight, compared with 21.8% of girls.

Risk factors

Various statistical factors contribute to the likelihood of being overweight, according to the data presented on Thursday.

Age is one of them. Between playschool and secondary school, the percentage of overweight children rises from 12% to 18%.

Children of non-Swiss parents are also more likely to be overweight than Swiss. The single biggest factor, however, is a lower level of education among the parents.

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