Oh those zany Dutch! Paul van der Velpen, the head of Amsterdam’s health service wants to see sugar tightly regulated, which could really be a bummer for folks buzzing from a stop in one of Amsterdam’s famed coffee shops and in desperate need of munchies. (Coffee shops sell weed, a koffiehuis is where you can get a jolt of joe or sip an espresso).
De Velpen wrote on an official public health website:
Just like alcohol and tobacco, sugar is actually a drug. There is an important role for government. The use of sugar should be discouraged. And users should be made aware of the dangers…Whoever uses sugar wants more and more, even when they are no longer hungry. Give someone eggs and he’ll stop eating at any given time. Give him cookies and he eats on even though his stomach is painful…Sugar is actually a form of addiction. It’s just as hard to get rid of the urge for sweet foods as of smoking. Thereby diets only work temporarily. Addiction therapy is better. Health insurers should have to finance addiction therapy for their obese clients. Schools would no longer be allowed to sell sweets and soft drinks. Producers of sports drinks that are bursting with sugar should be sued over misleading advertising and so on.
Obesity is on the rise in the Netherlands, with half the Dutch adults and one in seven children weighing in obese. Meanwhile, the Netherlands long known for its permissive, free-thinking ways has cracked down coffee shops in border towns, banning weed for tourists. In Amsterdam, you cannot smoke anything, weed or cigarettes, in public though you can smoke pot in coffeehouses, where sales to tourists are still legal, tourists can be banned. 26 coffeeshops in the De Wallen area will have to close their doors by 31 August 2015. And prostitution? In Rosse Buurt, the red light district.
In September 2007, the city council of Amsterdam at the behest of mayor Job Cohen, concerned about trafficking and pimping in the area, forced the owner Charlie Geerts to close 51 prostitution windows, reducing the total number of windows in De Wallen by a third. Amsterdam authorities bought 18 properties from Geerts, with the aim of developing the area with fashion designers and other upscale businesses…
Then in 2009, the Dutch justice ministry announced plans to close 320 Amsterdam prostitution “windows.” Hmmm, maybe these restrictions on sex and drugs are what is driving up the obesity rate and dependence on sugar?