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Society at a Glance 2009

OECD Social Indicators

image of Society at a Glance 2009

Society at a Glance offers a concise quantitative overview of social trends and policies across the OECD. This 2009 edition includes a wide range of information on social issues – such as demography and family characteristics, employment and unemployment, poverty and inequality, social and health care expenditure, and work and life satisfaction –as well as a guide to help readers understand the structure of OECD social indicators. 

In addition to updating some of the indicators from previous editions, Society at a Glance 2009 adds several new and innovative social indicators, including adult height, perceived health status, risky youth behaviour and bullying. For the first time, the report also provides a condensed set of headline social indicators summarising social well-being in OECD countries. In addition, a special chapter examines leisure time across the OECD.

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Obesity

The most frequently used measure of being overweight or obese is based on the body mass index (BMI). The BMI is defined as weight/height2 (with weight in kilograms and height in metres). Adults with a BMI between 25 and 30 are defined as overweight, and those with a BMI over 30 as obese (WHO, 1997). This classification may not be suitable however for all ethnic groups, and adult thresholds are not suitable for children.

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