Obesity in Switzerland

More than a billion people are living with obesity around the world, global estimates published in The Lancet show[1]Worldwide trends in underweight and obesity from 1990 to 2022: a pooled analysis of 3663 population-representative studies with 222 million children, adolescents, and adults[2]More than one billion people are living with obesity

The international team of scientists say there is an urgent need for major changes in how obesity is tackled[3]More than a billion people obese worldwide, research suggests.

Being overweight and especially obesity (severe overweight) are risk factors for non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer and musculoskeletal diseases. There is also an association with mental health and quality of life[4]Overweight and obesity

Being overweight usually occurs due to an imbalance between the intake and output of energy. A healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and enough exercise are very important in this respect, but other factors such as stress, lack of sleep, consumption of medication, hormonal balance and a genetic disposition towards overweight or obesity also play a role.

These are the same lifestyle factors that influence heart rate variability(HRV), confirming the correlation between low HRV and these chronic conditions.

In Switzerland 29.7% of women are either overweight or obese, with 9.9% being obese. In the international ranking, Swiss women are amongst the least overweight and obese ranking at 187. Swiss women have taken obesity seriously. In 2002, 32.3% of Swiss women were eight overweight or obese, a meaning full improvement.

For Swiss men, the picture is not good with 53.6% being either overweight or obese with 15.1% being obese. In the international ranking, Swiss men rank at 114. In 2002, the same proportion of men were either overweight or obese at 53.6%. However, in 2017 the figure was 54.4%, so there is improvement. However, obesity among men is still a problem. In 2002, 13.1% of the male population was obese. In 2017, the figure was 14.7%. By 2022, it had risen again to 15.1%.

To put these figures into perspective, with 53.6% of Swiss men being either overweight or obese in 2002, they ranked 69th. With the same percentage in 2022, Swiss men ranked 114th. People around the world are becoming increasingly overweight and obese. 

While these statistics remain cause for concern, the good news is that, except for obesity among men, Switzerland’s trend is the reverse of the rest of the world which is becoming increasingly unhealthy.