The Guidelines for a healthy diet of the Health Council (2015) serve as the basis for nutritional information to the public in the Netherlands. These Good Nutrition Guidelines contain a description of the nutritional requirements that must be met by a diet that supplies sufficient amounts of nutritional substances and that is preventive in terms of deficiencies and nutrition-related lifestyle diseases. Accompanying these guidelines some background documents were published (only available in Dutch) explaining the rationale behind the recommendations.
In its advice 'Dietary reference intakes: Energy, Proteins, Fats and Digestible Carbohydrates (2001)', the Health Council sets out the nutrition standards for total fat consumption and provides advice on the composition of nutritional fat. Click here for the recommendations concerning fatty acids for adults and children 4 years of age and older.
The Nutrition Centre has translated the Good Nutrition Guidelines into the Good Food Choices Guidelines (2016, in Dutch) for the consumer. The Good Food Choices Guidelines are meant to provide the basis for informing the consumer and are incorporated into information messages and materials, such as the Five Themes Chart [Schijf van Vijf]. Furthermore they are meant to provide the starting point for product development by the industry.
The government's memorandum 'Healthy Nutrition from Beginning to End' (Nutrition Memorandum, 2010 - in Dutch) and the national policy document 'Health within Reach' (in Dutch) set out the policy of the Dutch government aimed at improving current Dutch nutrition patterns. In the national policy document, Health within Reach, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) stipulates that it wants to see improvement in product supply as far as the content of saturated fatty acids and salt is concerned. In addition the Ministry of VWS presented the National Prevention Programme 2014 - 2016 (in Dutch) at the end of 2013. One of the objectives of this programme concerns a healthy product range: making a healthy choice easier by improving product composition in terms of salt, saturated fat and sugar. Therefore in 2014 the 'Akkoord verbetering Productsamenstelling' was signed by several private associations and the Ministry of Health. In 2018 a National "Akkoord Preventie' is being developed. This programm will focus on the reduction of overweight, smoking and use of alcohol.
Under contract to the Ministry of VWS, the Netherlands National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection (RIVM) together with the Nutrition Centre has been monitoring changes in the composition of the food product range since 2012. These activities took place under the header Reformulation Monitor and were initially focused on sodium and saturated fatty acid content. Click for the Reformulation Monitor (in Dutch) of 2012 , 2014 and 2016. In 2018 The RIVM added a prognosis on the daily salt and sugar intake, assuming that all current agreements (till 2016) on reformulation come into practice.
Click here for information about the activities carried out by the MVO chain organisation aimed at improving the food product range.