13:19 GMT +321 October 2019
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    The More, the Merrier? Obese Kids Charged More at Swedish X-mas Buffet

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    A Swedish hotel has landed in hot water for body shaming after making overweight kids pay more for a Christmas buffet.

    In a divisive special offer, the Duke Karl hotel in Filipstad, Värmland County, has presented a Christmas buffet for children under seven years old. Guests were charged SEK 2 (25 US cents) per kilogram of their body weight, a practice condemned by the public as discriminatory.

    The practice triggered strong reactions on social media, with many arguing that it constituted body shaming, as obese children were forced to feel bad about themselves and their weight.

    Following the criticism, the Duke Karl hotel took back its contentious special offer. Its owner Steinar Johansen came up with a public apology on Facebook, the local newspaper Filipstads Tidning reported.

    "We can only regret the fact that children under seven would pay 2 kronor per kilogram of their body weight. I thought it would be a fun thing, but apparently I was wrong," Steinar Johansen wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post.

    According to the hotel staff, the idea was to draw more kids to enjoy the buffet.

    "Our idea was that they would be surprised that everything was for free once you get there," hotel manager Cecilia Blomqvist said.

    Meanwhile, 51 percent of Swedes aged 16-84 were overweight or obese in 2016, an annual report by the national Public Health Agency showed.

    Among Swedish children, the proportion of overweight boys has risen more than threefold in the past 40 years (from 2.6 percent in 1975 to today's 8.5 percent). Among girls, 4.7 percent are overweight (as opposed to 2.3 percent in 1975). Claude Marcus, a professor and researcher of child obesity at the Karolinska Instutute told the Götebogs-Posten daily that the increase was particularly steep in the decade between 1985 and 1995.


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    body shaming, obesity, Scandinavia, Sweden
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