Home » Belgium » Belgium – Health Issues

Belgium – Health Issues

Belgium is a small country located in Western Europe with a population of approximately 11 million. The life expectancy in Belgium is around 81 years old, which is higher than the global average. However, there are still several common health issues that affect the population. In this article, we will explore some of the most prevalent health issues in Belgium and examine the country’s attitudes towards smoking.

Common Health Issues in Belgium


Obesity is a growing problem in Belgium, as it is in many other countries. In 2019, it was reported that approximately 22% of adults in Belgium were classified as obese. This is a significant increase from previous years, and it is likely due to changes in lifestyle and diet. The traditional Belgian diet is based on meat, potatoes, and dairy products, which can be high in calories and fat, and this may be contributing to the rise in obesity rates.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is a significant health issue in Belgium, accounting for around 28% of all deaths. Some of the risk factors for heart disease in Belgium include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and physical inactivity.


Get Our Best Articles Every Month!

Get our free moving abroad email course AND our top stories in your inbox every month

Unsubscribe any time. We respect your privacy - read our privacy policy.

Cancer is another prevalent health issue in Belgium, and it is the second leading cause of death, accounting for around 27% of all deaths. The most common types of cancer in Belgium are breast cancer, lung cancer, and colorectal cancer. Some of the risk factors for cancer in Belgium include smoking, alcohol consumption, and a poor diet.

Mental Health

Mental health is an emerging health issue in Belgium, as it is in many other countries. Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health conditions in Belgium, and they are often linked to other health issues, such as obesity and heart disease.

Smoking in Belgium

Smoking is relatively common in Belgium, with around 18% of adults reporting that they smoke. This is higher than the global average, and it is likely due to the country’s long history of tobacco use.


The government of Belgium has implemented several measures to reduce smoking rates, including:

  • A ban on smoking in public places, including bars and restaurants
  • A ban on tobacco advertising and sponsorship
  • A requirement for graphic health warnings on cigarette packets
  • Higher taxes on tobacco products

These measures have been effective in reducing smoking rates in Belgium, and it is expected that they will continue to be effective in the future.


Attitudes towards smoking in Belgium are generally negative, and smoking is increasingly seen as a socially unacceptable habit. However, there are still some people who smoke, and they may be subject to social stigma or ostracism. This is particularly true in workplaces, where smoking is often prohibited.

Belgium faces several health issues that are common to other developed countries, including obesity, heart disease, cancer, and mental health problems. However, the government has taken steps to address these issues, and it is expected that the situation will improve in the future. Smoking rates are decreasing in Belgium, and the government’s measures to reduce smoking rates are likely to be effective in the long term. Overall, Belgium has a strong healthcare system that provides access to high-quality medical care, and the country’s small size allows for more personalized and individualized care. As long as the government continues to prioritize public health and wellbeing, Belgium is well-positioned to continue providing its citizens with a high standard of healthcare.