60% of Young Dutch Population Stick to Unhealthy Snacking Habits

Bilthoven - The pizza paradox
Tucking into tacos, nibbling on nuggets and chowing down on chips? 30% of the Dutch people say they like fast food too much to give it up. This is particularly true for the young people; 60% of them agreed on this statement. But many make themselves feel better by paying for their actions in other ways, with 27% saying they exercise in order to compensate for other bad habits.

Market research firm Synovate conducted a global 'Healthy Living' survey on health, weight control and attitudes to food and exercise, and discovered that, when it comes to food and weight, people are not always logical.

The Bridget Jones effect; the link between mood and food
34% of people in the Netherlands tend to eat fast-food when they are feeling down. They are emotionally eating their way through life. Not surprising, the females tend to have a higher score on this Bridget Jones scale then the males.

Weighty issues
37% of the Dutch population weighs themselves at least once a week, 20% claim that they do not weight themselves at all. The rest of the respondents weigh themselves whenever they remember of when their clothes are getting too tight. With these percentages the Netherlands scores a bit above the international average.

What strategies do Dutch people use to battle their bulges? Top 3
• Reduce food intake 50%
• Increase physical activity 43%
• My weight does not change 27%

The most important causes of obesity
Most people firmly place the responsibility for obesity with the individual. According to the Dutch the most important causes of obesity are:
• Unhealthy food choices (24%)
• Unhealthy food habits like eating at irregular hours 17%
• No self-discipline (12%)
• Lack of exercise (10%)
• Emotional eating (eating when depressed, stressed, happy etc) (10%)

Looking for balance
Nearly one quarter of the Dutch is drinking at least one glass of alcohol on a daily basis. Smoking - smoking or not really - we do about as much as the average global person: 71% do not smoke.

All in all Synovate concludes that people in the Netherlands are looking for a balance. We love fast food; we drink too much, are moderate smokers and compensate all our unhealthy habits with healthy habits.

These trends and developments will be discussed in detail at the IFBN’s Dutch Food Market Opportunities meeting on 3 & 4 November 2009 in Amsterdam. The IFBN (International Food Business Network) assists food manufacturers in building bridges between European food markets by helping them to better assess markets, reduce market barriers and by increasing know-how and marketing skills. The network’s quarterly country meetings are designed to help food manufacturers make connections, grow their business and build on their success. IFBN meetings in Europe are organized by Bridge2Food.

Bridge2Food is a knowledge and network agency based in The Netherlands. Its key strength is the development of specific platforms for the food industry: ‘Building bridges between food professionals’. Bridge2Food is operating in the international food sector. Bridge2Food facilitates international food networks such as the International Food Business Network (IFBN) tailored to food business managers and the Global Protein Network (GPN) for research managers with an interest in food proteins. Bridge2Food also organizes a wide range of food industry conferences for senior managers of food manufacturing companies in Europe, the USA and Asia. News and innovations are covered in our quarterly in2food e-Magazine.

Upcoming events:
- Dutch Food Market Opportunities, 3 & 4 November 2009, Amsterdam (Netherlands). This meeting is part of the International Food Business Network (IFBN).
- Sports & Performance Nutrition, 19 & 20 November 2009, Frankfurt (Germany). You can combine this meeting with a visit to the FoodIngredients Europe exhibition, also in Frankfurt, 17 – 19 November.
- 3rd Healthy & Nutritional Bars Conference, 3 & 4 November 2010, Cologne (Germany). Combine this meeting with a visit to the ISM 2010 also in Cologne, 31 January – 3 February 2010.

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