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Amsterdam calls on the government to stop obesity epidemic

The capital requires increased scope to be able to tackle the issue efficiently

  • July 19, 2019 14:30
  • Author Aseniya Dimitrova
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Amsterdam is calling on national politicians to take measures to combat obesity in the city. This comes in response to latest figures from the Amsterdam Healthy Weight Approach (AAGG) that look at the period between 2012 and 2018 and show unsatisfying results. The study reveals stagnating numbers in the fight against obesity, which has been a serious issue for the Dutch capital for years. From 2012 to 2016, the estimated percentage of overweight or obese children fell from 21% to 18% only to rise again in 2017 to 18.7%.

The research shows also that the percentage of overweight children in areas of interest in North, New West and Southeast is considerably higher than in the other districts. For example, 20.9% of children in Southeast are obese, while the share in the centre is considerably lower - at 8.7%.

Being overweight is often a symptom of other problems in the family and the living environment, such as poverty, psychological issues, language deficiency or access to unhealthy products. Moreover, obesity leads to major problems with children - at the psychosocial level (such as bullying, depression) and at the physical level, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Also, being overweight can lead to a decrease in life expectancy by 3 to 5 years.

Thus, Amsterdam calls on the central government to take measures and to help the city combat child obesity and obesity in general. The college of the Mayor and Alderman wants more scope to be able to tackle the unhealthy food supply in the children's environment and the marketing of fattening products. In the coming years, the attention of the capital city will be focused primarily on children who are not yet attending primary school, young people in high school and vulnerable families in priority areas.

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