A minimum age to buy fast food? This proposal from a report from the Scientific Institute (WI) of the CDA aroused some discussion last week. Several political parties found it “patronizing”. FVD, BBB and JA21 stated that people should be able to decide for themselves what food they buy and that the government should not interfere. CDA MP Anne Kuik said the same day that the House of Representatives faction sees no point in such a proposal. Gerard Adelaar, author of the report Healthy lifestylehave difficulty understanding, he says in an interview with NRC† “If you make a correction as a government, it is not condescending, but rather an encouragement to live a healthier life.”
What do you think of the trouble over the idea of a minimum age for fast food?
“It is not right that it is taken from the report. A broad package of measures is proposed. Including healthy school lunches, a better prevention agreement and food price rules. Partly due to the riot, the report received a great deal of attention. It is valuable, because the improvement that is needed is going too slowly. ”
Do you still support the proposal for a minimum age for fast food?
“Yes. For this measure, the report states: ‘Consider’ setting a minimum age for fast food, similar to that for the purchase of alcohol and tobacco. All other proposed measures state ‘make’ or ‘ban’. If parties in the field do not themselves intervenes, this measure is intended as a great stick. “
A number of politicians call the proposal ‘patronizing’. Can you imagine anything about it?
“I understand the argument of a ‘guardianship’ government somewhere, but the current situation is condescending. People do not know what is good for them. The prices of unhealthy food are low and the advertisements are sneaky. There is no escape. “If a government makes a correction, it is not condescending, but rather an encouragement to live a healthier life. There really needs to be a turnaround. We are giving people the opportunity to live a healthy life.”
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What do you think about Anne Kuik’s announcement that the CDA’s parliamentary group is against this proposal?
“On the one hand, it is a pity. On the other hand, I am glad that she considers the report to be a justified combination of measures. If the parliamentary group says that it does not want this proposal and that it does the rest, then we are happy. “
What is the broader message of the report?
“In practice, it can be seen that our lifestyle, exercise and food are far from what our body can handle. The artificial substances in processed foods and the sugars cause unnecessary health damage. With these initiatives, we want to move towards a new food culture. Eating is more than just throwing something in when you need energy. It is part of living well. ”
Until now, the CDA has been against government interference. In 2017, the sugar tax was removed from the program. The report now includes an idea for a sugar tax. Why this cover?
“I see a great willingness from the House of Representatives to do something about this theme. I have confidence in that. We want the whole idea of a healthy lifestyle to come from the market parties and society itself. But because processed foods are so tempting and market participants show no interest in improving, the government will have to give it a push every now and then.
Research from the Leeuwarder Courant shows that health insurance companies invest millions in fast food chains. What does this show?
“It shows that the line we have written in the report is correct. There is just so much wrong in our society. We first make people sick through an unhealthy lifestyle, and we think that is perfectly normal. Then we will treat those people medically. We have come to regard it as normal. It really does not make sense, but it happens anyway. Such imbalances must be removed from society. “