An agreement signed by ministers, and 70 private and public sector representatives to try to cut smoking, problematic drinking and obesity in 2018 is failing across the board, the public health institute RIVM said on Wednesday.
“Even with the more optimistic estimate, the ambitions will not be achieved for any of the themes,” the RIVM said. “What is clear is that more and stricter measures are needed to achieve the ambitions. Intensifying the current measures could also help,” the RIVM said.
One of the Nationaal Preventieakkoord targets was the establishment of a “smoke free generation” by 2040, meaning that no child would smoke from that date. The number of adult smokers should also be brought back to 5%.
However, the RIVM says, it looks as if 10% of adults will still be lighting up in 2040, as will 4% of young teenagers. The agency suggests more price rises to discourage the habit.
The RIVM calculations also show the number of obese children and adults will continue to increase, despite more focus on healthy diets and exercise. And that, the RIVM says, means the number of people with diabetes, heart and artery disease and liver problems will also rise.
There has, however, been a slight reduction in the number of heavy drinkers and young teenagers turning to alcohol, although this too is not enough to achieve the government’s targets.
Mid 2024 a report outlining the impact of alcohol advertising is due to be finalised, but new measures will be up to the next government, junior health minister Maarten van Ooijen said.
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