The Public Health Agency of Sweden
Published 22 May 2018

Overweight and obesity

Around 50 % of adults in Sweden are overweight or obese. Obesity is among the main five risk factors in Sweden for healthy years of life being lost.

A high body mass index (BMI ≥ 25) is associated with an increased risk of several chronic diseases. Overweight means having a BMI value between 25 and 29.9, while obesity means having a BMI value of 30 or higher.

The prevalence of obesity has increased among adults during the period 2004–2016, and was 15 percent among both women and men in 2016. Obesity is more common among older people than among young people. In the age group 45–84 years, 19 percent are obese, compared to 8 percent among 16–29-year-olds. Obesity is also more common among persons with short-term education, compared to persons with long-term education. There has been no change in the prevalence of overweight during 2004–2016. The most recent survey in 2016 showed that 28 percent of women and 42 percent of men were overweight.

Our mission

The Public Health Agency of Sweden works to promote health and prevent diseases. We do this by monitoring the health status of the population and analysing underlying factors. We are a national focal point for WHO's work concerning non-communicable diseases and for the work on health-enhancing physical activity (HEPA) within the EU and the WHO European Region.