Food consumption in the Netherlands and its determinants

Relevant - Chapter 3: What do we eat.
Synopsis: Food consumption in the Netherlands and its determinants
Background report to ‘What’s on our plate? Safe, healthy and sustainable diets in the Netherlands. Dutch consumers eat on average 1 kilo of foods and drink 2 liters of beverages daily, divided into breakfast, lunch and dinner, and 4 in between moments. Per person, we consume an average of about 350 grams of milk, 100 grams of meat (products), 125 grams of vegetables and 125 grams of fruit and nuts per day. From the fifties meat consumption has increased up to the nineties. Then the meat consumption fell slightly, but is still higher than in the fifties. Now, more than a quarter of the foods and 10% of the beverages are of animal origin. RIVM mapped food consumption of the Dutch population, and factors affecting food consumption. In recent decades, the variety of the food supply increased, foods come from around the world, we eat more processed foods and less basic foods. Increasingly, we buy food in supermarkets and spend less time on food preparation. There are small but growing groups of consumers who choose to eat healthy or sustainable. Consumers make most food decisions based on routine and habit. Knowledge and motivation play a relatively minor role in food choice. When safety, health and sustainability play a role in food choices, it is the value as perceived by the consumer that is considered. This is not always in line with the scientific consensus. Besides habits, knowledge and motivation, the social and physical environment play a role. The ubiquitous and ever-present food supply in the immediate environment
strongly influences the food choices. This report is a background study for the 2017 report, "What is on our plate? Safe, healthy, and sustainable diets in the Netherlands” which was published on the 24th of January 2017. In this report, healthy, safety and sustainability aspects of food are integrated.

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