Diabetes Fund: ‘Follow Boris Johnson’s obesity plan

The Netherlands must follow the British example of laws banning advertising and offers of unhealthy products. Boris Johnson is spending ยฃ10 million to reach 35 million people to help them live healthier lives and lose weight.

This has a direct relationship with corona which has hit England hard. More than 60% of adults in England are overweight, which increases the risk of the disease developing seriously.

In the Netherlands, we are not yet close, but in our country, too, more than 50% of adults are currently overweight and therefore have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. We must avoid moving towards that 60%. It is true that we have concluded a prevention pact, but England goes much further, says Etelka Ubbens, Director of the Diabetes Fund.

Etelka Ubbens, Director of the Diabetes Fund

Follow Johnsons example

The Diabetes Fund therefore calls on the Dutch government to follow the good example set overseas and believes that there should be no more clashes with unhealthy products. Ubbens: Our call for a healthy choice is not new, but corona shows all too clearly the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Separate measures will not get us there, it is time for a coherent package of measures that will make it easier to make a healthy choice The Diabetes Fund argues in favour of a discount ban on unhealthy products and a sugar tax on sugary drinks.

At the end of 2019, the Fund had already presented a petition on behalf of 20 000 consumers with a similar call for a discount ban on unhealthy products. Ubbens: Following this petition, State Secretary Paul Blokhuis (VWS) started an investigation into such a ban. And it is now time to continue this investigation

British measures

The British will come up with, among other things, the following measures: There will be a law requiring large food companies outside the home, including restaurants, cafes and takeaways with more than 250 employees, to add calorie labels to the food they sell. There will also be a ban on advertising before 9 p.m. on TV and online for foods high in fat, sugar or salt. In addition, the government will enter into intensive discussions with the business community and industry about reduction and reformulation programmes concerning sugar, calories and salt.