Belgium’s male police officers getting too fat

Brussels, Sep 15 (IANS) Belgium’s male police officers are getting too fat to do their job properly, a local newspaper quoted interior ministry figures as saying on Tuesday.

According to newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, the average body mass index (BMI) of male police officers in Belgium is 26.52 — above the healthy range (between 18.5 and 25) and it keeps increasing each year, Xinhua news agency reported.

Female officers remain within the healthy limits, with an average BMI of 22.9, the paper added.

The figures were published after Christian-Democrat lawmaker Ravi Demon raised questions in parliament about the fitness of the country’s federal police force.

“A good physical condition is necessary in order to carry out the job properly. Officers getting older and heavier will soon be a major problem for all police forces in Flanders if no additional support or guidance is given,” Demon was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

The newspaper reports that Belgian police recruits have to undergo rigorous physical training at the recruitment stage.

Interior minister Jan Jambon said officers participated in exercises throughout the year and also received an annual medical check-up.

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