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Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2003 Feb 15;147(7):281-6.

[Nutrition and health--obesity].

[Article in Dutch]

Author information

Vrije Universiteit, faculteit Aard- en Levenswetenschappen, afd. Voeding en Gezondheid, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam.

Erratum in

  • Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2003 Mar 8;147(10):472.
  • Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2003 Dec 27;147(52):2612.


About 12% of the adult Dutch population is obese (Quetelet Index > or = 30 kg/m2). The prevalence has roughly doubled over the past 20 years. Obesity is strongly associated with a number of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, increased healthcare costs and a loss of productivity. Obesity is always the result of a mismatch between energy intake and energy expenditure. Foods with a high percentage of energy derived from fat are associated with weight gain, particularly when the rest of the energy is obtained from products containing little dietary fibre. Foods with a high content of refined added sugars or starch might be unfavourable with respect to the energy balance and the risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases. Slimming diets should aim for a gradual and sustained weight loss of about 10% of the initial weight over a period of six months, followed by weight maintenance over the next two years. Physical activity is an essential component of a weight loss strategy. Moderate sustained weight loss is associated with a strong reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in people with impaired glucose tolerance.

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