Many children are overweight: ‘The help should not only be about eating and exercising’

In the Netherlands, more than one in eight children is overweight or obese. You would think that eating less and moving more is the solution. “That is too easy to think about,” says health scientist Leandra Koetsier.

She tells that there are various causes why children become overweight and why it is not so easy to eat less. “That is why the help should not only be about eating and exercising,” says Leandra, who obtained her PhD on this subject last week at the VU University in Amsterdam. “It is possible that there are all kinds of other things at play – such as stress and not feeling well – that make it impossible to change behaviour.”

About 340,000 Dutch children are overweight. Of these, about 80,000 children are obese or severely obese. “If you already have that as a child, it is super difficult to get rid of it,” she says.

Also read: ‘My daughter (10) is worried about her weight because of me’


According to her, there is too much focus on weight. “Of course there is a measure of health, but we see it much more broadly. For example, someone with overweight who was obese before and now feels super good. That is already a profit.”

“It is mainly about the quality of life of the children and whether they participate in society,” she says. “That also influences how they feel about themselves. When you have other things on your mind, it is just very difficult to make healthy choices.”

Receive Kek Mama with a discount and free shipping on your doormat every month! Subscribe now and pay only €4.19 per edition.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *