Obesity, eat less right?

Meyken Houppermans
Founder and Head Coach
Obesity is a chronic disease in which excessive body fat leads to health risks such as heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, chronic inflammation and joint diseases. The solution is not just eat less.

Body composition

Body Mass Index, waist circumference and percentage of body fat are indicators for obesity: BMI over 30; waist size over 88 cm for women and over 102 cm for men;  and percentage of body fat over 40 for women and over 30 in men (depending on age). An apple shaped body type with storage of fat around the waist correlates with a higher risk of chronic diseases compared to a pear shaped body type.

Global epidemic

Over 50 percent of the Dutch adult population is overweight and over ten percent is obese. Over 75 percent the population In the United States is overweight/ obese. Europe is on track to follow the same trend. The World Health Organisation speaks of a global obesity epidemic, that in the next generation will become one of the largest and most difficult to treat health problem.

Eat less, exercise more

Numerous studies have shown obesity is not just a matter of eating less and exercising more. Obesity is a chronic disease with very complex causes and perpetuating factors such as the social environment and genetic predisposition. Treatment options are diverse, varying from lifestyle programs to medication and surgery, often with  life changing consequences.

Nevertheless, healthy food in moderate amounts and an active lifestyle can prevent becoming overweight, regardless of for exmple genetic predisposition, and are also part of the treatment to lose weight and to get healthy. The success rate of implementing these measures depends on the degree to which a person can maintain a healthy lifestyle for the rest of their life. Part of the treatment of obesity is at least 60 minutes of exercise per day at moderate intensity, and strength training at least twice per week. Almost 50% of the Dutch population does not meet the minimim recommended guidelines for daily activity and only 25% eat enough vegetables every day. Meanwhile the percentage of adults with severe obesity continues to increase.


Prevention is key: Eat minimally processed foods in moderation, regularly throughout the day. Exercise every day for at least 30 minutes, and do strength training twice per week. It is never too late to start. Coaches at NL Actief Prevention Centers, such as CrossFit Eudokia in Rotterdam, are specialised getting active with obesity, type 2 diabetes and several other chronic diseases such as rheumatism, and can help to get healthier, fitter and stronger.

Create your own health!©