RRC News

We are Renske, Renske and Charlotte, and we write weekly blogs about what's going on in the world. Hope you enjoy!

Obesity — 21 April 2017


Food proportions are getting bigger, fast food is getting cheaper and modern technology doesn’t give us the need to go outside anymore. All of those things listed above are changes that have more than doubled the amount of people with obesity since 1980.  Obesity is taking many life’s, because of the hart and vascular diseases that come with having obesity. Even when obesity doesn’t kills you, it can still ruin your life by recalling your ability to play sports or even walk. It can also play a big role in your social life and this often isn’t in a positive way.

You may wonder how obesity is increasing over the years. First of all the food proportion are quickly getting bigger. Especially in America the seize of a drink isn’t healthy anymore.
Secondly unhealthy food is a lot cheaper than normal food, for example you can get  bag of crisps for just 45 cents and an strawberries can costs 3 euros. This makes it much more attractive to buy a few bag of crisps then you’re in the grocery store instead of a few pieces of fruit.
An increase in physical inactivity due to the nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation, and increasing urbanization are the last factors that play a role in obesity. Those factors have been increasing over the past years and that is way obesity is a growing social problem.
not only he disease itself is a big social problem, but the costs that come with it is also a big issue. If the people with diabetes and heart disease would decrease there will be less charges for all the people.

There are many people involved in this social problem, such as the food producers and the people in developed countries who have access to the enormous amount of unhealthy food. Obesity is a disease that can be prevented, therefore it’s necessary to fight if you can in my opinion. But how are we going to fight it?

If people aren’t able to know for themselves how to live a healthy life they should be helped by the government. I think the best way in which the government can help in fighting obesity is to teach people how to live a healthy life and where can you teach this better than in a school? If we learn children how to live healthy from a young age they will think it’s normal and continue living like that, habitual evolution. Another advantage of teaching this in school is that you will get to every student through compulsory education. This is different than putting up a commercial or campaign, because that will never reach such a big group.
So therefore I believe that teaching children how to live healthy will evolve in a healthier community.

Renske van Dokkum, A4d

Game piracy in third world countries — 13 April 2017

Game piracy in third world countries

People in third world countries obviously have less money than we do. However, the children who live in those countries still have the same desires as first world children. Video games, for example, is very popular in the first world, but it can hardly be afforded by third world gamers. Is it therefore okay for people in the third world to use pirated games, while first world gamers pay the full price for a video game?

First of all, what is game piracy actually? Pirated games are games which are illegally downloaded from the internet and are therefore much cheaper than the original games, or even free. There are different reasons for people to illegally download game. In first world countries the biggest reason is because the original game is very expensive and people want to have it for free, even though they could afford it. Another reason is that it’s the only way to obtain a video games as it never came out in a particular continent. In the third world, the biggest reason for game piracy is because they do not have enough money to buy the original game. People who live in such countries do it because of poverty.piracy

Piracy in third world countries isn’t done because they have the intention to destroy the gaming industry. It’s done because they live in poverty and just do not have the money to buy a game. Another reason for the third world is that the game might haven’t came out in the country. If this is the case, the developers of the game already didn’t have anything to earn from that country or continent, therefore they have nothing to lose.

Of course, game piracy is still stealing in a way, but when a video game here cost you the wage of an hour, the same game could cost people from a poor country a day or maybe even a week of work.

Game piracy is obtaining a video game for free by illegally downloading it. In the first world it happens mostly because people just want to have it for free, while people in the third world do it because they really cannot afford it. The poorer people do it not because they want to destroy the market but just because they don’t have the money, therefore it is okay for them to illegally obtain a video game although it is still stealing.

Charlotte Jansen, A4d

Reduce the voting age to 16 — 10 March 2017

Reduce the voting age to 16

My friends and I had a discussion recently. The topic was: who would we vote for, if weAfbeeldingsresultaat voor stemrecht 16 could? We started giving some opinions on certain views and most of us were kind of on the same side. When the discussion was over I started thinking a bit. I came to the conclusion that we, as common 16 year olds, were perfectly capable of forming a well-funded opinion on many political matters. We were also all perfectly able to make up our minds about who we wanted our vote to go to, if we had one. So I thought, why not reduce the voting age to 16 years old?

Many young people, including me, can’t wait to be 18 and finally have a say in the formation of our government. So I think when we would reduce the voting age to 16, many of the 16 and 17 year olds would also actually do it. You could argue that 16 is too young because you are not an adult yet and shouldn’t have to face such complicated matters. But actually 18 doesn’t differ much with 16, mental capacity wise. There have been many studies which researched the subject: “When do you officially become an adult?”. Most of these studies have about the same conclusion, your brain stops growing, changing and evolving when you are about 24. So even 18 year olds still don’t have the brain capacity of a full blown adult.

Of course, a lot would need to change. For example, the campaigns. Campaigns nowadays tend to be more focussed towards middle aged people and can be a bit dreary. Most political parties put up posters and make commercials for on the television. The young people in our country are watching less and less tv, so political parties could try and make some advertisements for YouTube and use more of the internet in general.

I personally think it’s a great idea to reduce the voting age to 16. I think society is way too focussed on the older generation, and should me more focussed on the younger people. I think society pays this much attention to older people because there are so much of them, mainly because of the baby boom that happened after the 2nd world war. For some reason many of those baby boomers got something against the millennials, but I don’t see why. They are our future, so maybe we should let them have a say in the government too. I vote yes!

Renske Pouwels

Lack of privacy on social media — 23 February 2017

Lack of privacy on social media

We all know that over the past years we have become obsessed by social media. Many people are connected to one or more social media accounts. Everything we do is posted on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.  This is the new way to communicate with others. Most people will only look at the positive sides of social media, but I will acknowledge the negative sides of social networks in this article.

The websites we visit are being registered by the use of cookie, which we of course accept because we don’t want that annoying bar to be in our way. The internet is one of the worst breaches of privacy ever invented. But who is there to blame for our decrease in privacy because of social media and the internet in general? The users for posting their private lives on their accounts and accepting al terms without thinking, or the people who are behind the cookies?

Most of the social media users are not aware of the danger that comes with having an account. You are voluntary placing personal information for example your address, date of birth and work. this content is usually for the benefit of your friends, but what the majority of people doesn’t realises is that this information is open to more people than just your circle of friends.

One reason for this unawareness is that the network sites often enable the settings for your account. Another reason is just the lack of interest. Not everyone is interested in who look at your personal.

Renske van Dokkum, A4d

Legalization of party drugs — 16 February 2017

Legalization of party drugs

Al lot of party drugs are still completely legal. The party drug 4-FA is very popular in the Netherlands but on the first of April it will become illegal. The drug has been on the market since 2007 and it has been legal to sell, produce and use the drug.  Will the fact that the drug becomes illegal help with the reduce of incidents caused by the drug or will it only become more dangerous for people to use it secretly?

4-FA was seen as a light form of XTC. You kept more control and until September of 2016 any serious risks of health problems weren’t known.  The drug was popular because it had the same effects as ecstasy, but it wasn’t as strong as the hard drug. Now there is new evidence to believe that the drug can lead to serious heart problems and strokes. Some people are against to prohibition of the drug. They think it will only more dangerous for the users of the drug now the producers are working illegally.

When the drug becomes illegal people won’t immediately stop using it. The people who make the drugs aren’t checked up on because it has to happen in secret. In this way they can easily change the drug to make it stronger, more addictive and maybe even more dangerous without the governments knowing.
Supporters of the drug prohibition say that it sends a message to the users when the drug is made illegal. In this way the those people know that it can bring some serious risks when you use the drug and people might think a little longer about whether or not to use the drug.

It is very hard to control the illegal drug market and therefore I think it might be better to leave some drugs for legal use. It is almost impossible to make sure no one is using any illegal drugs and because of this the drug can only become more dangerous. Of course I realize that some  drugs should really be illegal, like those who bring serious health risks and those who are extremely addictive. But drugs like 4-FA whThe-Libertarian-Argument-For-Legalizing-Marijuanaich has been used for a few years by a lot of people, might be better to stay legal. People who have used the drug before will not stop using it just because now it is illegal. People know the risks and should be wise enough to take responsibility for their own body and health.

Charlotte Jansen, A4d

Positive discrimination in the workplace — 19 January 2017

Positive discrimination in the workplace

We all know discrimination is still a big issue in the world, but ever heard of positive discrimination? It is the opposite of discrimination and whilst that sounds pretty good, it can also lead to the same problems as discrimination does. It happens between people with different origins, believes and gender.

A large part of the representation on company boards exist out of man. Female representation has been an issue in these last couple of years. Positive discrimination is there to make sure that changes. But is it also fair to the working male?

Positive discrimination in the workplace happens a lot these days. Whenever women and men with exactly the same experience and qualification apply for a job, positive discrimination occurs. The female candidates will get employed only to decrease the proportion of men and women working in that position.

Having women working and being positive members of society instead of stereotyping them as house wife of the family who is taking care of the kids is good for a society’s development. Rather than putting women in the traditional role, taking them in board of a company can really help with getting better results. In this way, different points of views and expertise are being considered that might haven’t even been discussed by a boardroom that only consists out of men. A woman analyses things differently than a man would, that’s just the way it is.

Some people find the positive discrimination towards women unfair to men. It isn’t right to rather employ women just because they are the minority. Especially when it means hiring unsuitable people just to create balance between male and female. Positive discrimination can also result in women getting an higher income and better contracts. This last one I find very unfair. People should get paid equally for the equal work they do. I agree with the fact that more should be in boards of companies but it can’t be that a female gets paid better than a men for exactly the same job.

Of course positive discrimination not only happens on the work floor and between men and women. It happens in many more places and between different groups of people. I think there should be a line somewhere in between the fact that women are getting a job quicker than a man would and the fact that women get paid higher for exactly the same work, because that really doesn’t make sense to me.

Charlotte Jansen, A4d

First world problems — 11 January 2017

First world problems

We all know the problem, you’re going out for lunch and you pick out a nice spot to sit. Afbeeldingsresultaat voor first world problemsYou order something to drink and after a while you’ve chosen what you want to eat so you tell the waiter what you want. You also emphatically tell him to not put tomato on your sandwich, because you don’t like it. You’re just sitting there with your friends having a grand ol’ time, and then the waiter brings you your sandwich. You’re starving cause you hadn’t eaten since this morning, so you cheerfully take a big bite, but after the second chew you start to notice something. No, could this really be? Did they forget? You lift the top piece of bread of your sandwich and you make a horrendous discovery. The cooks forgot to take the tomato off.

This is a great example of the problem I want to talk about in this blog. We complain about the fact our waiter forgot to tell the cook we didn’t like tomato, meanwhile people all over the world are begging for any kind of food because they’re actually starving. First world problem might not seem like a very big problem but because of this many people in the first world stay ignorant to the fact that there are people in this world who actually have it bad.

Many people in third world countries such as many countries in Africa and South-America are living in unbearable conditions. They are getting paid less than a dollar a day and have to eat anything they can and sleep on the streets. People that are lucky enough to go to school usually don’t finish it because school books and uniforms are expensive and their family already can’t pay for basic necessities, but without school you can’t get a better job and earn more money. So many people are stuck in this endless cycle of no money and lack of education.

I think that we, as people in the first world, need to stop complaining about every little thing. We are lucky that we can sleep under a roof, eat whenever we want to, and go to school. A lot of people my age complain about having to go to school while children in third world countries are begging to. People in this world are dying, so stop complaining about life.

Renske Pouwels

Food Waste — 22 December 2016

Food Waste

If you combine all the food waste of Europe and the United States, you have enough food to feed all people who suffer from hunger worldwide.

Food waste is a big problem, not only in the Netherlands but in the w3dhole world. The problem has to do with awareness. Most people know how big the problem of food waste is, but think they do not play a very big role in it. The consumers are wasting the most amount of food but the restaurants and grocery stores are playing a big part in the problem as well. An estimated one third of all the food produced is never consumed. That would be 1,3 billion ton food every year which is worth around 1 trillion dollar. Every person wastes around 50 Kg of food per year which is €150 per person each year.
There are a lot of different reasons for throwing away food. In households, the most common ones are when food is past its use-by-date and leftovers are thrown away or kept but then forgotten. Other reasons for the consumer are when they prepared or cooked too much, bought too much at the store or had just forget what food was already in the house.
The biggest reason and worst problem for restaurants is when people cancel their dinner reservation last minute. In most restaurants, they cook a part of the dinner for a reservation beforehand so that in the evening it isn’t so hectic in the kitchen. When the reservation gets cancelled all that food is thrown away.
For grocery stores most food is thrown away because it is past its use-by-date or best-before-date. The stores don’t want to be accountable for whenever someone gets sick because of the food they have been selling. A big part (around 40
%) of the unsold grocery food is already donated or recycled but that doesn’t mean the problem has been solved in the grocery stores.2

Food waste is big problem not only for economic reasons (loss of money) but also for environmental reasons. Energy is needed for the production of food, so whenever food is thrown away the energy is wasted as well. Food waste itself causes big amounts of CO2 emissions which, as everyone knows, is already a big problem itself.
When we look at land usage we know the world is densely populated. One third of all the land that is used for the production of food, is used to grow food which will be wasted. In that case, we could have an extra 1.4 billion hectares of land being efficiently used.

If you look at the problem Food Waste and you look at the reasons for it and all the consequences it has, I can’t imagine anyone not agreeing with me that this has to stop. The reasons and causes for the waste of food are easily to prevent. The only thing is to do now is to make sure everyone is aware of this major problem and knows how to help stop it.

Charlotte Jansen, A4d

Child Depression — 14 December 2016

Child Depression

Currently about 8 to 10 percent of children ages 12 to 17 are suffering from some kind ofAfbeeldingsresultaat voor child depression depression. These numbers wouldn’t be this big if children with beginning depression would get professional help immediately, but unfortunately this often isn’t the case. Parents often don’t even realise that their children are suffering from depression, they might think their kid is just suffering from one of the many side effects of puberty.

This all proves that depression with children is becoming a real social issue. And the kids aren’t even the only ones that suffer from this social problem, the parents of the children are also involved. When kids are depressed they typically don’t really show that they are. They tend to shut out anyone that wants to help them, which is not only bad for the child it is also pretty hurtful for the parents, who are only trying to help. This is exactly what makes depression with kids so hard to notice. Kids that are going through puberty often shut out the people closest to them too, so depression and puberty are often confused. So that parents don’t notice that their kid is depressed is one side of the problem, but another side is that children often don’t get professional help, even if the parents do notice the kid’s depression, they often neglect professional help because they think they can solve this ‘little’ problem by themselves. From the 2.8 million children with depression only about 60% actually seek professional help. This means 1.12 million children are walking around with depression and either nobody notices it nobody does something about it. Depression with kids is becoming even more of a social problem because the number of child suicides have gone up drastically. Many of these suicides could have been prevented if parents were more observant or didn’t neglect professional help.

There isn’t really an opinion to have on this social issue, mainly because we all agree that child depression and child suicides are problems that need to be solved. Nobody wants even more children to be depressed and commit suicide, so I obviously share that opinion, but I do have some ideas that might be able to solve this issue. First of all parents should be well informed about the symptoms of depressions with kids, many people do know the symptoms of depression with adults but those differ quite a bit from the symptoms of depression with kids. For instant adults completely lose interest in their hobbies and other activities while children still enjoy extracurricular activities when they’re depressed. Luckily I’ve been seeing more and more commercials on TV about child depression and how to spot it. Another way of solving child depression is to inform parents and the children themselves that depression is a serious illness that won’t solve itself, so maybe tell people via television or social media how important it is to seek professional help.

So everyone agrees; child depression is a real problem we should solve, one way or the other. It’s not only a big problem on its own, it’s also causing other bad problems. Don’t just hope this problem will solve itself, like so many parents hope with their children, and do something.

Renske Pouwels A4D

Racism — 9 November 2016


Racism was and still is a very big problem in the world. You can see it in the Netherlands; ‘de zwartepieten discussie’, as well as in the United States of America. Especially with Donald Trump running for elections a lot of racist quotes can be heard there. The problem of racism is that people are judged on their race. On their origin and nationality. In the past racism happened a lot, think about slavery, but it still happens all around the world and I think it’s time that we stop it.a-world-without-racism-1024x915

Racism is dividing a population into ‘us’ and ‘them’. It’s about having disgust against another race or group of people. Sometimes it even is about having a preference of your own race. This is caused on the way you were raised by your parents. If you grew up thinking your own race and skin colour was the best, while everyone else was lower than you, there can be still a part of you that thinks that way. Later it’s very hard to change that way of thinking. Most of the time the minority in a country is the victim of racism, in this way the majority is able to ‘defeat’ the group that doesn’t belong in the country (or so they say).

A lot of people tend to use discrimination and racism as synonyms, but they aren’t. Racism is a smaller category of discrimination. While racism only divides people by race, discrimination can divide people by their origin, the colour of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender, religion or disabilities.

Racism happens at and in a lot of places; At school, at work, for example when an application is being refused because of a foreign last name, in the media and racism is even used to become president of the United States of America. Donald Trump is a very good example of a typical racist. He thinks American white people are the best and immigrants should get deported. He calls Mexicans rapists and thinks women are less than men.

I think racism has to stop immediately. I think it’s a terrible way of treating and threatening people. The impact on people is very large and can last very long. It can begin small with bullying on middle school, but it can happen on a much more bigger scale, like not getting any jobs because of your last name or men like Trump can happen to America. Trump might be excellent at giving a speech, but his ideas are terrible. He uses racism to get other people’s attention and that’s just wrong. I think stopping racism starts with you. If you notice racism around you, which can be anywhere, you can say something about it and stand up for others who maybe are afraid to do so themselves.

Charlotte Jansen,