Youth monitor

10 percent of 18-24 year-olds who smoke are heavy smokers

Nearly one in three 18-24 year-olds smoke, and one in five of this age group are overweight. At the same time, nearly 91 percent report their own health as good or very good. Young people who smoke and those who are overweight are less positive about their health than those who do not smoke and those who are not overweight.

One third of 18-24 year-olds smoke, one fifth are overweight

Nearly 33 percent of the Dutch population in the age group 18-24 years smoke. Although younger boys and girls smoke less, as many as 10 percent of 12-17 year-olds light up now and then. Over 21 percent of 18-24 year-olds smoke every day, and just over 10 percent are heavy smokers. Over 12 percent of 12-18 year-olds are overweight, 2 percent even seriously overweight. In the age group 18-24 years one fifth were overweight and just over 4 percent seriously overweight.

Smoking and obesity in young population, 2010/2013

2014 Dec Smoking G1

Youngsters from low-income households more likely to be overweight

The percentage of smokers is higher among overweight youngsters than among those who are not overweight: 27 percent and 22 percent respectively. This correlates with the background of these young people. Girls from low-income households, for example, are more likely to smoke and be overweight. Relatively more boys from low-income households, too, are overweight. Young people with a foreign background are more likely to be overweight, but fewer of them smoke than native Dutch youngsters.

Heavy smokers less positive about their health

Nearly 91 percent of 12-24 year-olds perceived their health positively. For young male non-smokers this was 94 percent, compared with only 80 percent of heavy smokers in this age group. For young women the difference is larger: 89 percent of 12-24 year-old girls and women who don’t smoke say their health is good or very good, compared with 72 percent of heavy smokers.

Percentage of young people reporting good or very good health, by smoking behaviour and sex, 2010/2013

2014 Dec Smoking G2

Overweight youngsters more negative about own health

Overweight 12-17 year-olds are more negative about their health than their peers who are not overweight: 89 percent of them were positive about their health, compared with 95 percent of those not overweight. For girls the difference was similar: 84 versus 91 percent. Overweight 18-24 year-olds were also less positive about their health than those of the same age who were not overweight.

Percentage of young people reporting good or very good health, by weight category and sex, 2010/2013

2014 Dec Smoking G3