Government steps up fight against obesity

7th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

7 November 2007, AMSTERDAM - The Dutch government and 18 private partners have stepped up their fight against obesity in the Netherlands, it was announced on Wednesday.

7 November 2007

AMSTERDAM - The Dutch government and 18 private partners have stepped up their fight against obesity in the Netherlands, it was announced on Wednesday.

Paul Rosenmoller, president of the so-called Covenant on Overweight and Obesity originally signed in January 2005, called upon the food industry to stop all food commercials on television directed towards children under the age of 12.

Rosenmoller also wants supermarkets to take away all sweets and chocolates targeting consumers near cashiers.

The activist also recommended that all healthy foods be given a special logo on their packaging to help people choose what to buy.

These and other measures should bring down the number of overweight people in the Netherlands by 2011, Rosenmoller told reporters on Wednesday.

Health Minister Ab Klink responded enthusiastically to Rosenmoller's initiative.

"I hope businesses will use these ideas," he said.

Some 40 per cent of Dutch adults are overweight, with almost 10 per cent suffering from obesity.

Among children, 13 per cent of boys and 14 per cent of girls are overweight.

Experts are expecting these numbers to rise. People continue to eat more and tend to take in the wrong foods containing high quantities of sugar and fat, the partners of the Dutch Covenant on Obesity and Overweight said.

In addition, the association says each new generation performs less physical activity than the previous one.

All partners to the Covenant - a total of 18 umbrella organisations such as labour unions, representatives of the food industry, supermarkets and sports organisations - signed a declaration promising to undertake measures against obesity in 2005.

So far, a variety of measures - such as propagating the consumption of fruits and vegetables in television advertorials - have not stopped the continued increase of overweight people in the Netherlands.

[Copyright dpa 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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