Overweight and BMI
How many Danes are overweight? And what is the average height for men and women?
Note: Below, we provide links to data from Statistics Denmark and to others who make statistics on the subject. In some instances, the sources referred to below have content in Danish only or limited content in English.
The Danish Health Authority has a feature page on overweight
The National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) has prepared a national health profile “Den Nationale Sundhedsprofil 2021” (in Danish), which includes information on weight. It is available as a database as well as a publication (in Danish).
In 2022, The National Institute of Public Health (NIPH), published an article in which development in the average height and weight of men and women is followed from 1987 onwards:
- Vi bliver højere og tungere (2022)
DTU Food has documented the development in overweight for the period 2005-2013 for children, men and women:
- See the article "Danish women’s weight is still increasing" (2015) - "Flere overvægtige danske kvinder" (in Danish)
Focus on children and young persons
With the contribution of DTU Food, Statistics Denmark has prepared an analysis on social inequality in the prevalence of overweight in Danish children:
- ”Ulighed i børneovervægt i Danmark” (2021) (in Danish)
The analysis supplements a report from the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) on overweight among children and young people. The NIPH is also behind the survey of health behaviour in school-aged children “Skolebørnsundersøgelsen” (in Danish), which contains data on the well-being and health of children and young people - including overweight and obesity:
- ”Overvægt og svær overvægt blandt danske børn og unge” (2020) (in Danish)
- The survey on health behaviour in school-aged children (in Danish) is carried out every four years, last in 2022
The Danish Health Data Authority is behind a national database on children “Den Nationale Børnedatabase” (in Danish), which contains data on e.g. the height and weight of Danish children:
- About the The National Child Health Register (in Danish)
- Height and weight of school children at esundhed.dk (in Danish)
Eurostat’s portal Statistics Explained can be used as a point of entry and guide for data on overweight in Europe:
- See the article "Overweight and obesity - BMI statistics"
The World Health Organization also has data on the subject:
- Subject page on Obesity and overweight
- Global Health Observatory (GHO) data on Overweight and obesity
What is the average height for men and women?
Statistical Yearbook 2017 has a table (in Danish) of the results of the tests for determining the eligibility of young men for military service, including their BMI and height: "Sessionsresultat samt værnepligtiges BMI og højde“.
At the website of the Personnel Agency of the Danish Ministry of Defence, you will find a link to the average height, BMI etc. of conscripts through the years (in the box "Flere tal").
The National Institute of Public Health (SIF) regularly collects data on the height and weight of the Danes:
- The most recent key results are available in the series "Ugens tal for folkesundhed“ showing average height and weight of men and women from 1987 until 2021
- Results from the KRAM survey (2007-2008) (in Danish) shows e.g. height and weight by percentiles
[This page was last reviewed in June 2023]