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Promote the Use of Healthy Foods and Drinks

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Health funds want the political parties in a new coalition agreement to encourage supermarkets and manufacturers through legislation to make our food and drink healthier.

Diabetes Fund, Heart Foundation, Maag Lever Bowel Foundation and Kidney Foundation are united in the Alliance Nutrition for the Healthy Generation. Research by this alliance shows that 82% of the people think it is important that processed food is made healthier. They believe that soft drinks with a lot of sugar should become more expensive (63%) and 72% say that there should be a ban on advertising unhealthy food for children.

 

Current measures inadequate

For example, the agreements between the government and the food industry to make food and drink healthier have not led to sufficient improvement time after time. The amount of salt, sugar and saturated fat in products has not been sufficiently reduced. With the campaign ‘It is time for a healthy diet’, the Alliance partners are arguing for the new cabinet to end the noncommittal nature of covenants and voluntary agreements.

 

Three main topics

According to the Alliance partners, the following 3 main points must be given priority and can count on broad support from society.

1. Making processed foods healthier
Products in supermarkets and in the catering industry must become healthier with less salt, sugar and unhealthy fat. Manufacturers should therefore be required to annually reduce the amount of salt, sugar and unhealthy fat in products. In this way we prevent unhealthy food and drink from making people sick. The survey shows that 82% of the people think this is important.

 

2. Less sugar in soda
Despite agreements, manufacturers are doing too little to reduce the amount of sugar in soft drinks and therefore it is necessary for the government to take measures. Like a tax on too much sugar. A solution with which we especially protect young people – as large consumers of sugary drinks – against excessive sugar intake and developing type 2 diabetes. 63% of the people surveyed support such a measure.

 

3. Only children’s marketing for healthy food
Too few children in other countries have a healthy diet. Child marketing is still too often tempting children to eat unhealthy food; the Alliance believes that child marketing should only be used to promote healthy food and drink. That means a ban on any form of child marketing for products such as soft drinks, cookies, ice cream and chips. The measure can count on support from 72% of people.

 

A healthy diet for every child

An unhealthy diet is the second most preventable cause of death after smoking, with 12,900 deaths per year. At the moment, the food environment ensures that almost no one eats and drinks completely healthy. Some countries has about 350,000 children who are overweight. Every child can develop a healthy diet if the new cabinet immediately promotes wellness and the food environment. As a result, a generation grows up that will be less ill later on.