More than taxes
However, levying an additional tax alone is not enough, according to Van Cleef. You can also do something about how much unhealthy foods are advertised, the location of foods in the supermarket and the amount of unhealthy food sold.
“Most of the food in the supermarket does not fit into the five categories, but it is promoted a lot. To help people eat healthy, we will have to process all of these things at once.”
According to Marnell Leader of the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), this is necessary, “because obesity is a big social problem.” That’s why in 2018, in the National Prevention Convention, measures were put in place to reduce smoking, obesity, and problematic alcohol consumption.
It is set that by 2040, only 38 percent of Dutch adults will be overweight. Nearly half of all adults are still overweight. Without additional measures, 62 percent of adults will be overweight in 2040.
This is why RIVM submitted proposals earlier this year Additional measures. “A tax on sugar would be possible,” Commandeur explains, “but you can also make healthy food cheaper, restrict advertising of unhealthy foods, or sell unhealthy foods in fewer stores. We estimate that the solution consists of a combination of measures.”
Last year, medical professionals and consultants from Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht insisted on the so-called sugar tax. Moreover, the majority of Dutch seem to be happy with such an additional tax for unhealthy food, if the proceeds are spent on healthy goals. Who is showing who Research From the University of Amsterdam.
The Health and Community Council also supports the additional burden on unhealthy food. The council noted earlier this year that health opportunities in the Netherlands are now unevenly distributed. Depending on your income, you will live healthy 15 years shorter or longer.