The prevalence of obesity indicator measures the percentage of the overall population in Germany with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above.
It provides a proxy measure to individual healthcare provision
The BMI is an internationally established and comparable measure, but it is far from perfect. The indicator does not provide any information on the ratio of body fat to muscle, or physical fitness.
The BMI calculations are based on data from the Microcensus carried out by the Federal Statistical Office involving a detailed survey of around 830,000 people in Germany. Every four years the "Health questionnaire" section provides information about people’s weight and height. People in surveys tend to over-state their height and under-state their weight, so the prevalence of obesity is generally underestimated. A comparison of survey data and data from monitored measurements shows that the prevalence of obesity in the general population was underestimated by around 10 per cent by those self-reporting their information. This means that for 2009 the BMI for the general population was 24 per cent rather than 15 per cent.
The Microcensus provides the most up-to-date and appropriate data source for observing long-term trends in obesity, because data allow for regional and longitudinal analyses.