An interesting news item produced by Nina Jurna Correspondent RTL Nieuws, Suriname/Antillen, touched upon the health status of the Antilles, and it was titled Overgewicht Antillen, quoting two local Aruban doctors, public health specialist Richard Visser and pediatrician Joel Reinhardt.
The piece was aired on RTL Nieuws, and received a great deal of attention. http://www.rtlnieuws.nl
In the news item both medical professionals raised concerns over childhood obesity on the islands, and Dr Richard Visser also outlined his suggested fix, raising the level of activity and continuing to organize the Extreme H Games as outlined in his National Plan Aruba 2009-2018.
In 2006, Dr. Visser started a program for the youth called “Extreme H Games.”
The program was designed to teach children about health, nutrition and physical activity. It also psychologically empowered children to move and have fun.
The Extreme H Games deliver 4-hour workshops, held monthly in alternating neighborhoods. The local Extreme H Games team-leaders, a total of ten professional fitness experts and trainers, psychologists, dance/movement experts, a professional chef and Dr. Visser, were supported by the local banks, embracing the positive impact of the program. The local banks entered into an agreement with Dr. Visser for partial sponsorship of this very progressive, preventive health plan.
As a matter of fact, in 2007, Dr. Visser took Extreme H Games to Bonaire, where he was invited by the Governor who heard about the program taking place in Aruba. The Governor of Bonaire understood the very “hip and cool” style of teaching children about health, and set his mind to also change the health status of his population.
In the near future, Dr. Visser is planning to take Extreme H Games to Curacao, and some of the other neighboring islands. In the process, he already presented the Curacao government with his Research on Childhood Obesity and paired it with an intervention plan. When he introduced the officials to the Extreme H Games program, they immediately asked him to implement it on their island. Â
Dr Visser considers the excess weight issue on the island the number one public health threat and sounds the alarm to raise awareness to the growing problem, at any given opportunity. He would like to see the heart of Oranjestad closed to traffic on weekends to allow children and adults on bicycles, skateboards, and on foot room to exercise and move. Pictured here Dr Richard Visser lecturing on weight loss and the benefits of exercise.