Sweden rejects fat child data registry

A nationwide obesity register planed by Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) has been rejected by the Data Inspection Board due to privacy concerns.

The health board wanted to use the register to keep closer tabs on Sweden’s overweight children.

The register was to include information about the height and weight of every citizen under 18 years of age.

But the Data Inspection Board nixed the idea, pointing out that details about one’s height and weight constitutes very sensitive information, especially for those who view their weight as a problem.

Therefore, collecting such information, without consent from every child or parent, is seen as a violation of privacy.

The National Board of Health and Welfare wants to add the information to an existing medical birth registry, but the Data Inspection Board objects to the idea because doing so would give the registry a completely different purpose than that for which it was created.