June 10, 2012

Three kids from Utrecht under supervision for being too fat

Filed under: Dutch first,Health by Branko Collin @ 11:42 am

Child protection services has placed three children from the same family in Utrecht, ranging from 6 to 13 years old, under the supervision of a guardian for being dangerously overweight, De Telegraaf writes.

The children weighed 15, 18 and 51 kilograms too much in November 2011. The parents fought the services’ decision in court, but in a decision published in May, an judge in Arnhem found against the parents. The court felt that although it was obvious that the parents cared about their children, they lacked both the drive and the skills to deal with their children’s bad health.

According to Dutchnews.nl, “this is the thought to be the first time children in the Netherlands have been subject to a court order because of their weight”. NRC writes that in the UK, dozens of children have been placed under supervision since 2006 for being obese. Child protection services told the newspaper that they will only place children under supervision “if the parents refuse voluntary help and the problems are such that the development of the child is halted or endangered.”

Supervision means that although the children will generally get to stay with their parents, the supervisor must be consulted for all major decisions regarding the children, and orders given by the supervisor must be followed.

A high profile supervision was the 2009 case of then 13-year-old Laura Dekker who wanted to sail around the world by herself. The intent then was to determine whether Dekker was fit to sail the world by herself, although in hindsight the effect mainly seems to have been to instill a severe dislike for Dutch bureaucracy in the teen sailor.

(Photo by Quinn Dombrowski, some rights reserved)

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September 5, 2007

Children getting fatter, just like their parents

Filed under: General,Science by Orangemaster @ 9:58 am

fat kid

By 2015, one child in five will be obese in the Netherlands, according to a study carried out by the Nicis research institute in the country’s major cities. Fewer than 10% of children in primary school manage to average half an hour exercise a day. Among teenagers, it is fewer than 30%.

The institute found a direct relation between weight gain and the opportunity to play games or sports in the children’s neighbourhood. Nicis underlined the duty of city councils to develop opportunities for exercise, by encouraging children to bike to school and improving safety at sports fields so children are not deterred by the risk of being attacked. The institute also stressed that parental attitudes were a determining factor: sporty parents tend to have sporty children while lazy couch-potatoes have children like them.

Risk of being attacked should be ‘risk of being beaten up for being fat or an easy target’.

No one word about bad eating habits, not one! Children take on some 90% of their parents’ habits as well, not just their sports habits.

Here a nice list of who’s fat in the world. There’s a cultural explanation for the top 8 and a serious difference in population size.

Some perspective: The US is No. 9, the Netherlands is No. 106. Don’t worry too much.

(link: int.iol.ca.za, via webwatch.be)

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