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Improving local food environments and dietary habits in adolescents by engaging with stakeholders in the Netherlands

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 September 2021

Jacob C. Seidell*
Affiliation:
Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam Public Health research institute, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
S. Coosje Dijkstra
Affiliation:
Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam Public Health research institute, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Maartje P. Poelman
Affiliation:
Chair Group Consumption and Healthy Lifestyles, Wageningen University & Research, PO Box 8130, Wageningen, The Netherlands
*
*Corresponding author: Jacob C. Seidell, email J.c.seidell@vu.nl

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to describe a series of recent studies from the authors and many of their colleagues aimed at improving the food environments of adolescents in the Netherlands and thereby improving their food choices. These studies are performed in the wider context of national and local strategies for the prevention of overweight and obesity in the Netherlands. Interventions were developed with local stakeholders and carried out in schools, supermarkets and low-income neighbourhoods. We conclude that current national policies in the Netherlands are largely ineffective in reducing the prevalence of overweight and obesity. Local integrated programmes in the Netherlands, however, seem to result in a reduction of overweight, especially in low-income neighbourhoods. It is impossible to say which elements of such an integrated approach are effective elements on their own. We found very little evidence for the effectiveness of separate interventions aimed at small changes in the food environment. This suggests that such interventions are only effective in combination with each other and in a wider systems approach. Future studies are needed to further develop the practical methodology of implementation and evaluation of systems science in combination with participatory action research.

Type
Conference on ‘Nutrition in a changing world’
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Nutrition Society

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References

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