Zum Inhalt springen

Dutch Lifestyle Trend Report indicates future health problems

The trend scenario identifies dutch lifestyle trends and likely societal and health challenges between now and 2040.  The projection is based on historical continuous trends, population growth and demographic development and draws one possible future scenario. Results are structured into 6 fields.

How many people will smoke in the future?

The percentage of smokers at the age of 18 or older will continue to decrease from 25% to 14% in 2040. The relative amount of smoking men (28%) in 2015 is greater than the amount of smoking women (21%), but will decrease stronger, leading to a converging trend in 2040 with percentages of 15% and 12% respectively. Also, the smoking frequency among smokers will decrease, resulting in a decrease in daily smokers from 19% to 9%. The overall trend is backed by the continuous past decrease in smoking and the small number of students starting to smoke in early age. Indeed, the age group of 18-24 year-olds experiences the steepest fall from 31% to 19% in 2040.

How many people will be overweight in the future?

The average weight will increase, leading to an increase of people with a BMI of 25 or higher from 49% in 2015 to 62% in 2040. This increase of 12% will be roughly the same for all age groups. Thus, the continuous individual increase within the age groups as well as the ageing of the population are important factors determining the trend. Moderate overweight will increase particularly among men and obesity among women. Women will therefore be more often obese (22%) than men (19%) but less often moderately overweight (35%) than men (50%) in 2040. Increases in BMI will increase the overall risk of health problems.

How much will we exercise in the future?

The number of people who meet the Dutch Standard for Healthy Exercise will be increase among all adults aged 20 years or older from 62% to 68%. The biggest factor leading to the increase is the high percentage of active people over the age of 60. The trend prognoses only the timespan between now and 2030 and is addressing the moderate activity level, defined as exercising 5 times a week for around 30 minutes.

What are the trends in (un)healthy diet pattern?

The decrease in fruit and vegetable consumptions stagnates and especially children start to eat more fruit. Additionally, meat consumption decreases in general. Yet, the consumption of unhealthy high calorie processed foods and portion sizes continue to grow. These trends might be combatted by technological improvements in reformulation and tailoring of processed foods. Thus the results of the various trends are still uncertain.

What are the trends in alcohol consumption?

In 2016, 10% of men and 7% of women were excessive drinkers, leading to an average of 9% among all people aged 18 and over. The average amount of heavy drinkers was similar. Excessive drinking is defined for men and women as drinking more than 21 or 14, glasses of alcohol, respectively, per week, whereas heavy drinking is above 6 or 4 glasses, respectively, per week. However, as measurement methods changed, past and future trends remain unclear.

What are the trends in the duration of sleep?

Societal developments like digitization and the 24-hour economy may harm sleep duration and quality of sleep, therefore causing health problems like depression, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and overweight. However, trend data is not reflecting these effects, yet showing no difference in sleep duration over the past 25 years. There is a significant amount of people, between 10-23% , who experience problems falling asleep, staying asleep or sleeping long enough. Trends in sleep quality and future trends of sleep duration remain unclear.


Learn more here:


Survey Source: Dutch National Institut for Public Health and the Environment. Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. Public Health Foresight Report 2018. https://www.vtv2018.nl/en/lifestyle