January 20, 2014

Dutch have best food in the world, Oxfam says

Filed under: Food & Drink,Health by Branko Collin @ 9:34 am

bitterballen-wikipedia-user-takeaway-pdIf you want to taste the best food in the world, look no further than the Netherlands, a new report claims.

There is a snag (isn’t there always?). The report was written by international aid organisation and poverty fighters Oxfam and they did not look at how good our restaurants are, nor did they look at what our dishes taste. As an organisation that tries to combat hunger among other things, their goal was to determine in which country (from a list of 125) citizens had the best access to “plentiful, nutritious, healthy and affordable” food.

The core questions Oxfam looked at were whether people had enough to eat, food was affordable, diets were diverse, people had access to both clean and safe water and how unhealthy people ate.

Dutchnews writes: “European countries occupy the entire top 20 bar one – Australia ties in 8th place—while the US, Japan, New Zealand, Brazil and Canada all fall outside. African countries occupy all the bottom 30 places in the table except for four—Laos, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India.”

Der Spiegel thinks the top ranking for the Netherlands is hilarious: “specialities like bitterballen, fried breadcrumbed balls containing a ragout, will excite neither gourmets nor advocates of healthy living.” (Bitterballen are small, round krokets that are served as bar snacks, usually with mustard).

See also:

(Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Takeaway, some rights reserved)

Tags: , , , , , ,

January 11, 2013

Coffins increase in size due to obesity

Filed under: Health by Orangemaster @ 6:02 pm

Dutch coffin manufacturers are saying that the demand for large coffins is growing due to the increasing obesity of Dutch people. These coffins are far more expensive than the regular ones as they have to be made by hand. Moreover, 60% of Dutch crematoria have adapted their ovens to be able to cremate obese people, a bit like revamping your fire stations to make sure your big new fire trucks fit in them.

The National Organization of Crematoria says that businesses are now equipped to burn big people throughout the Netherlands, a process that lasts longer than normal due to the surplus fat and able to do so, as it is more difficult. Obese people should preferably be cremated at the beginning of the day when the oven is not yet at full temperature.

(Link: badnewsfromthenetherlands.blogspot.nl, Photo: Salem graves by by Alanna Ralph, some rights reserved)

Tags: ,

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)

Tags: , , ,

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)

Tags: ,

August 9, 2007

Quick weight loss for the obese before surgery

Filed under: Dutch first,Science by Orangemaster @ 11:18 am

The Academisch Ziekenhuis Maastricht (AZM hospital) claims to be the first hospital in Europe to use the EndoBarrier Gastrointestinal Liner, a sleeve-like device that makes obese patients kilos lighter in about three months in order for surgery to be less risky.

Two surgeons and two doctors of the AZM will carry out the first operations in Europe using the device, within the scope of a random study of long-term use and effect of the EndoBarrier. Developed in the US, the EndoBarrier also has more advantages. Apparently, as long as the ‘sleeve’ is in place, the symptoms of diabetes are not present. How that actually works is not yet known and needs to be researched.

(Link: bisnis.nl, News14)

Tags: ,

March 24, 2007

Food that tastes like less

Filed under: Food & Drink,Health,Science by Orangemaster @ 9:23 am

Scientists in Wageningen are developing a new generation of foods that can help prevent obesity by getting people to eat less. The Top Institute Food and Nutrition is also developing food ingredients which can stop obese people from developing diabetes. Such nutrients could eventually be used in any kind of food. The Dutch public health agency concluded in a research report last year that 25% of deaths and serious illness caused by overweight and obesity would be avoided if adults shed 3 kg.

Eating right and exercising is pretty straight forward, but accommodating the obese seems more lucrative. As the article states, “such innovative products have higher margins than those of selling a tomato or a bottle of milk.”


Tags: ,