SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
«Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development. Significant strides have been made in increasing life expectancy and reducing some of the common killers associated with child and maternal mortality. […] However, many more efforts are needed to fully eradicate a wide range of diseases and address many different persistent and emerging health issues.»
Significance of the indicator
The indicator shows the share of overweight people, i.e. those with a BMI of 25 of more, in the permanent resident population aged 15 or more.
Overweight, and to a greater extent obesity, are risk factors for a number of diseases. For example, they increase the risk of developing metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, or cardiovascular diseases. Two important factors influence excess weight: physical activity and dietary habits. Children and young adults who are overweight risk suffering the consequences throughout their entire life. A reduction in overweight is, therefore, a step towards sustainable development.
Help for interpretation
Body mass index (BMI) is calculated by dividing a person’s weight (in kilos) by their height (in metres) squared. WHO distinguishes the following categories for people aged 18 and over: underweight (BMI <18.5 kg/m2), normal weight (BMI from 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2), overweight (BMI greater than 25 kg/m2). Obesity is a type of extreme overweight with a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or more. Thresholds are adapted for young people aged between 15 and 17.
The method for calculating adult BMI is based on WHO guidelines. This means that the BMI can be compared at international level.
The indicator shows the proportion of people aged 15 or more who are overweight, i.e. who have a BMI of 25 or more. The reference population is the permanent resident population from the same age group living in private households.
BMI is obtained by dividing weight by height squared. The persons interviewed indicated their own weight and height.
Data come from the Swiss Health Survey, conducted every five years by the Federal Statistical Office.
2b Promoting health
Human health should be protected and promoted.