Dutch eating habits cause for concern

In the Netherlands, fastfood chains and food delivery services are on the rise. According to consultant agency Locatus, the number of delivery and take-away restaurants has grown by 55% in the past five years. Despite attempts to promote a healthy lifestyle, the number of fastfood restaurants in the Netherlands outnumbered the normal restaurants in 2020. 

Local governments are struggling to keep them out and are demanding legislation from The Hague to achieve that. However, many politicians hesitate to implement measures against fastfood chains, according to Lex Burdorf, professor of Social Healthcare in Rotterdam: “They are afraid to be viewed as patronizing”. Some stakeholders want to leave the choice of eating fastfood to the individual. Burgdorf: “But then you’re denying the effect that marketing has on people’s behaviour. The marketing budget of fastfood chains is much larger than that on the prevention side. It’s an uphill battle”. 

© Financieel Dagblad 25/08/2023,  Eva Schram Richard Smit

As part of the partnership between the Workplace Vitality hub and Compass Group, a plan has been developed to promote a healthy lifestyle. Together with Compass Group, the hub encourages the highly skilled professionals of the High Tech Campus to include more plant-based food in their diets.

The relevance of this plan lies in the recognition of the connection between nutrition and the brain. Consuming more vegetables is highly beneficial, for people’s physical wellbeing as well as their cognitive function, resulting in improved performance at work. 

The essence of the plan was documented in the campaign ‘Feed your mind. Energize your work. Eat your veg’. By stimulating healthy eating habits at work, the hub aims to have a positive impact on campus residents and to promote the restaurant involved, Brave New World, as the go-to place for a nutritious and delicious plant-based meal.