Swiss seniors are much more likely to be overweight that other age categories, new statistics from the Federal Office for Public Health (FOPH) show.
Some 53% of over-65-year-olds have a body mass index judged to be too high (over 25 on the BMI scale), according to the statistics released on Tuesday by the FOPHexternal link.
Older men are more likely than women to be affected: 62% of over-65-year-old males are overweight, while the figure for women of the same age is 46%.
Across all other age groups the figures are lower: among 35-49-year-olds 42% are overweight, while among 15-34-year-olds it is 27%.
Geographically, meanwhile, the most overweight canton (across all ages) is Aargau, at 45.8%, while the trimmest is Zurich, at 38.7%. People with higher education are on average slightly less likely to be overweight or obese than their less-well-educated counterparts.
The FOPH said that such statistics for older people are worrying mainly due to the increased risk of cardio-vascular disease (the most common cause of death in the country), as well as the risk of developing certain forms of cancer and type 2 diabetes.
The authorities said that a balanced diet and adequate exercise are the keys to maintaining a healthy weight throughout one’s lifetime. Walking, cycling, and dancing are all suitable forms of movement for older people, it said.
The statistics come from a developing database monitoring addictions and non-contagious diseases in Switzerland, and the socio-demographic factors that influence such problems.