Two-thirds of 2020 lifestyle improvements goals missed: RIVM
Two-thirds of the 2020 goals set laid out in the National Prevention Agreement (NPA) to reduce smoking, obesity and excessive drinking have not been achieved. The lifestyle improvement goals included having a first smoke-free generation by 2040. For the years in between, separate goals have been set, including 39 which were due to be met by 2020.
Just thirteen of them have been fulfilled, nine of which are related to smoking. It is, however, still too early to say what impact will that have on reaching the long terms goals set for 2040, public health agency RIVM said in their report.
For instance, the daily number of young people who start smoking has decreased from 75 to 41. At the same time, the excise duty on cigarettes and tobacco was increased. Railway companies NS and ProRail have also stopped stores from selling tobacco products at stations.
Simultaneously, tackling obesity appears to be going more slowly. In 2020, the number of overweight children aged 4 to 18 climbed by 1.5 percentage points to 14.9 percent, indicating that school-based approaches are lagging behind. The number of school lunchrooms serving healthy food remained at about 40 percent, while the target was 50 percent.
The number of adults who drink excessively went down from 8.5 percent in 2019 to 6.9 percent in 2020. This is largely due to the fact that most nightclubs and catering businesses remained closed amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Some of the parties that were involved in the process claimed that the coronavirus outbreak largely contributed to the failure to meet all of the 2020 targets. "For example, health care, catering and education regularly had other priorities than lifestyle prevention due to the corona pandemic," RIVM explained.
In 2023, RIVM will once again evaluate how likely it is for 2040 goals to be fulfilled in time.