The City of Amsterdam has won the City European Health Award 2019 with its Amsterdam Healthy Weight Programme. This year’s theme is prevention and reduction of children and adolescents that are overweight. According to the European Union, the Amsterdam programme contributes to a healthier environment to grow up in for youth in Amsterdam.
Simone Kukenheim, Alderman for Care, Youth and Sport of Amsterdam: “This prize is an enormous support for our preventive approach. Not only for the municipality, but especially for all those involved in the field who are working on a healthy living environment for all children. I dedicate this prize to them and all parents and children in the city. With the prize we can make extra efforts to support children and families and investigate how we can advise and encourage entrepreneurs to sell healthier products even better. We want equality of equity for every child in Amsterdam. And that is a joint responsibility: It takes a village to raise a child. Together with parents, professionals, schools, communities and entrepreneurs, we try to create a healthy environment to grow up in Amsterdam. However, we cannot do this alone, we are therefore calling on the EU to come up with stricter criteria with regard to healthier product formulation, food labeling and kids marketing. ”
Childhood obesity is often a symptom of other family problems. For example debts, psychological problems with parents or problems with upbringing. By first solving these problems, space is created to sustainably improve the lifestyle of a family. It also helps when the environment cooperates. Healthy offerings in the canteens at school and (sports) association, less fast food in the public space – especially in the vicinity of schools – and less kids marketing. The Amsterdam Healthy Weight Programme is committed to all these areas with the aim of helping all children in Amsterdam grow up healthily.
Amsterdam received the prize this morning from Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety. He praised the system approach: the approach whereby the entire system, consisting of the home and neighborhood environment, the school and the care setting, is included. The jury was furthermore impressed by the pressure that Amsterdam exerts on the food industry to take responsibility. Because that will help to make the healthy choice the normal choice in the future.