An extra tax on fatty foods and membership to a gym as part of health insurance are two of the options being looked at by health minister Ab Klink in an effort to reduce obesity and other problems.
Next year a number of trials will begin in which doctors will be able to prescribe fitness lessons instead of cholesterol pills to overweight patients.
Anti-smoking courses may also be covered by health insurance, Klink said at the presentation of his plans on Monday.
The minister is also preparing to tackle the high level of alcohol abuse among young people by making agreements with local councils and schools.
This approach is more likely to be effective than an information campaign, said Klink. ‘You can tell teenagers that they will live longer if they don’t smoke and drink but the idea of three more years in an old people’s home doesn’t motivate them,’ Klink was reported as saying in the Volkskrant.
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