‘The Dutch still have poor eating habits’



According to the NRC newspaper, the government’s public health institute has been evaluating the eating habits of 4,000 people between 2007 and 2010, and have concluded that people in the Netherlands still eat crap (noun and incorrect adverb).

“People of all ages are consuming 100 to 120 grams of vegetables a day, when it should be 200 grams. Just 10% of children and 33% of the elderly manage to eat fish twice a week.”

Fish is more expensive than red and white meat (assuming that’s the competition), so that’s one easy explanation. The ordinary supermarket has a lot of junk food fish (fried, drenched in cream, battered) and not much fresh fish.

As for the veggies, many foreigners (nutritionists and ordinary people) are literally freaked out by how few vegetables are recommended (see explanation with fruit below).

“Children eat less than one piece of fruit a week and adults not quite one and a half. The recommended amount is two pieces. And the consumption of fibres is about 66% of what it should be.”

The recommended amount of fruit in Canada is like 3-4 servings a day and even 5 in the US. Harvard goes as far as to recommend “5 to 13 servings” and “potatoes don’t count, as they are just starch”.

A quick tour around the web says that France recommends 400 g of fruit and veg a day, twice what the Dutch recommend. They also say that lesser developed countries recommend 100 g and fervent Western European countries up to 450 g.

“The good news is that people are eating fewer trans-fats, mainly because producers of margarines, cooking oils and snacks have lowered the amount of trans-fats in their products.”

In other words, they got lucky and don’t think about what they eat. That’s not good news, that’s a warning.

(Link: www.dutchnews.nl)


  1. Anita says:

    What I find strange is the concept of what’s is “healthy” in this country (gezond). They use it for certain cookies, ready-for-the-microwave-meals, canned fruit… When in fact you could only name raw fruits and veggies “gezond”. (Or should they be bio or organic to be considered healthy ? Mmmm…)

  2. Orangemaster says:

    Excellent point. Albert Heijn has a blue four-leaf clover label with healthy on many foods that are questionable.

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