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Healthy living campaigns don't work

Information campaigns that should encourage people to live healthier lives are insufficient. That is the conclusion of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).

The number of Dutch problem drinkers and drug users is not decreasing, nor is the number of overweight people. Still 40 to 50 percent of the Dutch population is overweight and more than 10 percent is seriously overweight.

Almost a third of the Dutch smoke (27 percent) and that percentage is higher than in neighboring countries. According to the RIVM, the target of 20 percent smokers this year will not be achieved.

RIVM therefore advocates a different approach † According to the institute, more things should be banned, as happened with smoking. Also excise increases on certain products could be a measure.

The report 'From healthy to better' was presented to Minister Ab Klink of Health on Thursday.