Three quarters of the Dutch eat unhealthily

The Dutch do not eat enough vegetables, fruit and fish. Only a quarter of the population meets the guidelines for healthy eating. The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) concluded this in a study published on Thursday.

Young people in particular seem to have little interest in healthy eating. According to the researchers, three out of ten primary school-age children eat enough fruit and vegetables. For the group above, twelve to sixteen year olds, only 14 percent comply with the guideline.

As people get older, the consumption of healthier food also increases, the CBS concludes.

Persons of foreign heritage
According to the researchers, women (30 percent) more often eat sufficient fruit than men (22 percent). It is also striking that foreigners generally eat healthier food than native Dutch people. The standard of eating fish at least twice a week, of which at least once a week oily fish such as salmon, herring or mackerel, is met by only 14 percent of the population.

Children up to the age of eight have to eat one and a half pieces of fruit a day according to the standard of healthy eating. For everyone older than nine years there are two pieces of fruit, such as apples, pears, mandarins or bananas.

The foodwatch consumer organisation is not surprised by the unhealthy eating style of the Dutch. We can also see that from the rising overweight figures. Almost 42 percent of the Dutch are overweight, in 1981 it was 33 percent”, says a spokeswoman.

According to the food watchdog, 85 percent of products in supermarkets are aimed at children, whether they are too sweet, too salty or too fatty. We have been advocating a ban on marketing unhealthy products for a long time,” says the spokeswoman.