Undertakers are looking for bigger coffins and crematoria are increasing the size of their ovens because the Dutch are getting fatter, free newspaper Metro reports on Thursday.
Coffin maker Bogra says it used to get a request for a larger coffin once a month, but that now happens every week. ‘In the Netherlands, coffins are always longer than in neighbouring countries but we are now being asked to make them wider,’ Bogra’s Linda Damhuis told Metro.
The cost of a larger coffin is at least 50% higher than that of a normal one. ‘They have to be made by hand, and often need an extra handle and reinforcing,’ she said.
Funeral industry supply umbrella group VTU says lifting apparatus and stretchers are also being adapted to cope with the heavier weight, in line with strict health and safety rules.
Some 60% of the Netherlands crematoria have installed bigger ovens in recent years, Metro states.
‘Families want to cremate their loved ones in their home town,’ Henry Keizer, of the national crematoria association told the paper. ‘All regions now have crematoria which can handle overweight people.’
In addition, the burning process for people who are overweight has to be slowed down to cope with the size of the body. This means funerals often take place in the early morning, before the ovens are too hot, Keizer said.