"Everything is about health"

Cigarettes

Most Dutch people are doing well when it comes to health. They live longer, but at the same time there is a strong increase in the number of chronically ill people. Moreover, higher educated people are often healthier than lower educated people. This was the reason for the government to start the national prevention programme "Everyting is about health" in 2014. That is the motto under which the authorities and private and social institutions are developing a number of initiatives and actions to help people leading a healthier life.

Measures

The programme mainly focuses on smoking, obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, poor physical exercise, diabetes and depression.  Measures to promote a healthier life style include covering cigarette packaging with gruesome pictures,  updating the information about the five principal ingredients of a proper diet and promoting the reduction of salt, sugar and fat in food. Moreover, municipalities have set up all kinds of programmes in the field of sport and physical exercise. In the health care sector, in schools and in the workplace prevention is given more attention as well. Think of good ventilation in school buildings and the introduction of health checks in the workplace.

The years to come

The National Health Policy Memorandum 2016-2019 states that the central government will continue to aim at the prevention of diseases caused by smoking, a lack of physical exercise or the consumption of too much alcohol. Municipalities play a key role in this, because it is their duty to promote a healthy life style of their citizens. Several municipalities who lag behind in health matters are allocated extra money to tackle this.

Other issues

Health prevention policy is about much more. That is why such issues as the hearing damage prevention action plan, health checks, healthy food directives and the population screening for intestinal cancer were also on the agenda.