Steve Brine MP

for Winchester & Chandler's Ford

15 MAR 2018

Steve Brine visits Amsterdam to learn about childhood obesity plan

Steve Brine paid a flying visit to Amsterdam on Thursday 15th March to learn more about the city's efforts to secure healthier weights for their children.

Visiting in his capacity as Public Health Minister, the Winchester & Chandler's Ford MP was very impressed to learn that the programme is doing well, with a declining trend of overweight and obese children, particularly those from families with a low socio-economic status.

He met with Deputy Mayor Eric van de Berg, who explained how they were treating this as a response to a public health emergency, and how they viewed obesity as an epidemic. He was also keen to stress that the scheme, which is now in its fifth year, is seen as a marathon piece of work.

Speaking after the visit, Steve Brine said: "This was a very worthwhile hop across the channel, and the city is absolutely right to see this as both an epidemic and something they are in for the long haul.

"Most impressive was the growing trend of healthy lifestyles and behaviours, which they see may actually be more important than the reduction in BMI, as a significant change in behaviour is clearly the most sustainable way of preventing and reversing obesity."

Much of the work over the past five years has been about building the foundations. Amsterdam reports that initially, not everyone involved understood the urgency of the problem, so the first challenge was to establish a shared definition of the problem and a shared solution.

They have now seen 120 out of the 220 primary schools in the district participate in the scheme, with healthy primary schools gradually becoming the norm.

Pictured; Steve Brine MP with Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam Eric van de Berg

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