Health policies and data

Obesity and the Economics of Prevention: Fit not Fat - France Key Facts


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1. Obesity rates in France are among the lowest in the OECD, but have been increasing steadily.
About 1 in 10 people is obese in France, and almost 40% are overweight (including obese). OECD projections indicate that overweight rates will increase by a further 10% within ten years.


Past and projected overweight rates

Underlying data and charts for all the graphics below are also available in Excel


2. Large socio-economic disparities in obesity exist, both in men and women. Women with poor education in France are almost 3 times more likely to be overweight than more educated women. Unlike in most OECD countries, significant disparities are present in men too, with poorly educated men 1.6 times more likely to be overweight than more educated ones.


Relative Index of Inequality in Overweight by Education level



3. Obesity rates are relatively low among children too, and have not been growing over the past 20 years. The outlook for child obesity is less gloomy in France than in most other OECD countries. Although OECD projections do indicate a risk of an increase in the number of children who are overweight, child obesity rates are likely to remain below 10% over the next 10 years.


Past and projected rates of child obesity and overweight, age 3-17, in France


4. Children with obese parents are far more likely to be obese themselves. Children are about 3 times more likely to be obese if they have at least one obese parent.


Odds ratios of child obesity by parents' obesity status in France

5. Socio-economic disparities exist in children as wll as adults. Boys and girls in the most disadvantaged socio-economic groups are over twice as likely to be obese as children who are better off.


Socio-economic disparities in child obesity in France

Note: SES: Socio-economic status


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