Amsterdam city council is placing 300 drinking water fountains around the capital in an effort to encourage children to drink water rather than sugary drinks.
The plan is part of the city’s efforts to reduce childhood obesity. Some 160 drinking water fountains have already been installed and a further 40 are at the planning stage. The rest will be set up in the coming years.
Figures from the city’s health board show one in five Amsterdam children is overweight.
Intensive efforts to encourage children to exercise and eat more healthily are beginning to pay off, alderman Eric van der Burg said on Friday.
The number of overweight five year olds has gone down by 2% over the past two years, he said. However, 30,000 children are still too heavy and 2,300 are obese.
Part of the problem is in cultural differences, Van der Burg said. ‘Richer families in the centre buy water but poorer families like to think they are rich enough to buy cola and not to drink water out of a tap,’ the Parool quotes him as saying.
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