HEILOO – It’s a popular New Year’s resolution every year: lose weight. The new government also wants to encourage a healthier lifestyle through the idea of a tax on sugary products. “It’s time for the government to do something,” says internist and diabetes educator Hanno Bell.
Nearly half of the Dutch population is overweight, according to figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS). Men are more likely to be overweight than women: 54 versus 48 percent. On the other hand, women are more likely to be obese than men, 16 percent versus 13 percent. Obesity is a chronic form of weight gain characterized by an excessive accumulation of body fat.
In Hilo municipality, 39 percent of the adult population is overweight. This means that the Hilo population is lighter than the average Dutch population.
There are risks associated with being overweight. “Being overweight is a risk factor for a whole host of diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and cancer,” says Hanno Bell. Being overweight can also upset your immune system. This is why people who are overweight are also more susceptible to the severe consequences of coronavirus infection. Pijl thinks it’s important to note that some people may have great difficulty losing weight. “It may have something to do with your genetics. There is still a huge stigma against people who are overweight. Nobody can do something about it that easily.”
The government wants to reduce the proportion of Dutch people who are overweight to 38 percent by 2040. The new government plans to introduce a tax on sugar in time. The idea here is to increase the tax on sugary products, such as soft drinks and juice. Healthy food, such as fruits and vegetables, should be made cheaper. “The sugar tax is a good start to fighting obesity,” says Pijl. It is clear that the government now finally feels it has to take responsibility for the obesity epidemic. Countries like Mexico and the UK already have a sugar tax and it seems to be effective there.”
I need more
Dietitian Annelies de Greve stresses that the fight against obesity cannot be won through the sugar tax alone. “It also has to do with how you approach life. What is your lifestyle like? Are you moving enough? Those are all important things.” According to an internist and professor of diabetology, industrially prepared foods, such as fast food and ready-made meals, should also be significantly reduced on the shelves. “We have to go back to much more unprocessed food in our diet. More fresh vegetables, nuts and fish.”
What’s the best thing to do if you want to lose some pounds? According to de Greve, goal setting is important. Make this goal as realistic as possible. You don’t want to lose a lot of pounds at once. Find the path that suits you. Don’t forget to reward yourself with something nice sometimes.”
How do you make a good decision?
Usually the New Year comes with good intentions. Is your resolution this year to eat healthier? Perhaps these three steps from a nutrition center can help you on your way:
Make concrete plans
Make your intention as specific as possible. “Healthy eating” may be a little unclear. But eating two pieces of fruit a day is a tangible goal.
Ask yourself: Why would I want this?
If you want something from yourself, it works better than if you get rewarded for it. The more important the goal is to you, the higher the chance of success.
How will you deal with it?
To make your New Year’s resolutions successful, you can use the Condition Plan. For example: “If I have a break at work at 10:00, I will eat a piece of fruit.”
The sugar tax is a good start.
Excess weight is a risk factor for a range of diseases
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