Health council: Introduce sugar tax and reduce VAT and fruit and veg
The Council for Health and Society (RVS) has published a report in which it instructs the Dutch government to do more to promote healthy living and combat unhealthy eating in the Netherlands. Their advice includes introducing a ban on advertising for unhealthy foods and lowering the VAT on fruit and vegetables.
RVS issues advice for the Dutch government to promote healthy living
The RVS suggests introducing a sugar tax while simultaneously lowering the cost of healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables. In addition to this, the council would like to see a ban on the advertising of unhealthy foods. According to the report, municipalities should also be given the power to limit or ban the opening of new fast food outlets and snack bars in their area, as this should work to promote a healthier living environment.
The RVS has informed the Ministry of Health that a budget of approximately 1,7 billion euros would already provide sufficient funds for combatting unhealthy behaviour in the Netherlands, but the council also recognises that money will not be enough to solve the problem.
As well as substantial financial investments, the RVS would like to see the government introduce a law that should work to prevent health inequalities. "Health inequalities are associated with long-term and complex social problems, such as unemployment, low income, debts or an unhealthy living environment," the council writes.
RIVM advises that alcohol only be sold in liquor stores
The National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM) has issued its own advice when it comes to the sale of alcohol in the Netherlands. The institute feels that additional measures are required to further reduce excessive alcohol consumption and obesity.
Therefore, experts not only second the RVS’ advice for encouraging a healthier lifestyle, but also argue that alcohol should only be sold at liquor stores. In addition to this, the RIVM asks for stricter agreements with employers about healthy eating in the workplace and stricter regulations for advertising in areas where young people gather, such as at schools and sports clubs.