Health funds want gov't to legally regulate sugar, salt, fat in foods
The government needs to step in and legally limit the amount of unhealthy sugars, salts, and fats in food products, according to UNICEF, the municipality of Amsterdam, the Diabetes Fund, the Heart Foundation, the Stomach Liver and Bowel Foundation, and the Kidney Foundation. If nothing changes, two-thirds of the Dutch population will be overweight by 2040, they warn, RTL Nieuws reports.
Currently, the government leaves regulation up to the food industry itself, but this is seriously inadequate, according to the alliance. The National Prevention Agreement made between the government and food producers did not deliver enough results, the alliance said. "The ambitions were good, but the measures too weak," Tom Oostrom of the Kidney Foundation said to the broadcaster.
In addition to legally limiting unhealthy ingredients like sugars, salts and fats, the alliance also wants the government to ban advertising unhealthy food to children, and introduce a sugar tax.
"With 13,000 deaths per year, an unhealthy diet is the main preventable cause of death after smoking," Oostrom said, referring to a RIVM study from 2017. "At the moment, 350 thousand children are overweight. If we continue like this, two thirds of the population will be overweight by 2040: 9 million people. That is an unprecedented number. That will lead to a capacity crisis in healthcare."