Three children from the same family were put under official social work supervision earlier this year because they were obese, the NRC reports on Friday.
This is the thought to be the first time children in the Netherlands have been subject to a court order because of their weight, the paper says.
The oldest child, aged 13, is classified as ‘very heavy’ for a young teenager, with a body mass index of 34.4, the paper said. The middle child is heavy but not obese, while the youngest, age six, is also obese.
Applying the supervision order, the court ruled the parents are ‘very involved’ with their children and had tried to encourage them to lose weight by joining sports clubs. But rejecting a claim for the order to be lifted, the court said the parents were not determined enough to bring about a change.
The family’s lawyer says the parents realise the children must lose weight but feel they have not been listened to. The mother asked a volunteer for help ‘in broken Dutch’, who then alerted social workers, the paper says. The lawyer claims the family have not yet been given any specialist help even though the court order was placed four months ago.
According to the TNO research institute, 1.7% of the 180,000 Dutch 12-year-olds can be considered obese.