Cabinet failing to tackle obesity

25th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

25 May 2007, THE HAGUE – The government is not doing enough to tackle obesity, says Paul Rosenmöller, chairman of the Steering Committee for the Covenant on Overweight and Obesity. "I hear a lot of words in The Hague, but see little action. Even the industry is ahead with initiatives like the "ik kies bewust" (healthy choice) logo and innovations to make products with less fat, sugar and salt."

25 May 2007

THE HAGUE – The government is not doing enough to tackle obesity, says Paul Rosenmöller, chairman of the Steering Committee for the Covenant on Overweight and Obesity.
 
"I hear a lot of words in The Hague, but see little action. Even the industry is ahead with initiatives like the "ik kies bewust" (healthy choice) logo and innovations to make products with less fat, sugar and salt."

Rosenmöller says this in the Volkskrant on Friday. The steering committee was appointed two years ago by the public health ministry in an effort to tackle obesity. Rosenmöller, the former political leader of Green-left GroenLinks, wants the government to make fighting obesity more of a priority.

"The business sector is taking more responsibility. In The Hague however more attention is being paid to smoking, drugs and alcohol than to overweight, the silent killer of our times."

Not only the Public Health Ministry, but the other government departments should take on their responsibility in this area, Rosenmöller says. The Education Ministry should include nutrition in the classroom and require a sufficient number of hours of physical activity at school. The ministry responsible for housing and spatial planning should make sure there are enough playgrounds and safe cycling routes.

More than 75 percent of adults in the Netherlands are overweight. The number of children that are seriously overweight has doubled over the past decade to one in eight.

The steering committee, in which the government, business sector and sports world work together, has the objective of preventing the percentage of overweight adults from growing by 2010, and reducing the number of children who are overweight.

This objective can still be achieved if politicians take action now, Rosenmöller says. "Otherwise it will be too late and another generation of children will grow up poorly nourished and not taking enough exercise. The problem is particularly widespread in disadvantaged neighbourhoods."

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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