Healthy food rises more in price than sugar and processed meats


The cost of food rose by an average of 18% between 2010 and 2020, national statistics office CBS said on Friday but healthy food has risen more in price than sugar, butter and processed meat products.

In total, the price of fruit, vegetables and low fat products rose 21% over the 10 year period, while more unhealthy products rose 15%, the CBS said.

Some products – including ice cream and sweets – were actually cheaper last year than 10 years ago. Eggs cost almost 47% more while skimmed and semi-skimmed milk is 43% more expensive. Fresh fruit has gone up 26% – but that is largely dependent on harvests, the CBS points out.

The CBS says the average household spends around 13% of their disposable income on food and drink, or an average of €7.18 per day. The family spending institute Nibud says the average adult can eat a healthy, balanced diet based on government recommendations for €6.27 a day.

The Dutch government is coming under increasing pressure to take action to improve the nation’s diet. In April, the government’s health advisory body RVS said more needs to be done to promote healthy eating, including a ban on advertising unhealthy food and lower VAT on vegetables and fruit.

The RVS also said local councils should be allowed to refuse a licence to fast food restaurants in order to promote a healthier living environment, and that the government should introduce a tax on sugar.

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