Gezinsbond has recently presented the results of their study on families and healthy food. With the success of cooking books and television programs, the comeback of vegetable gardens, food coming directly from the farm or DIY food packages, healthy food is booming…but on the other side, contradictory health claims, ambiguous advertising or unclear food labels makes it difficult to make the “healthy choice”.
According to the study, 96% of the families cook at home almost every day. They buy fresh products from local shops and 30% get fresh fruits and vegetables directly from the farmer, subscribe to a vegetable delivery service or grow their own vegetables.
Families usually go to the supermarket with a list and 1 out of to 5 families stick to it. 60% of the respondents check the nutritional value of the food. They look at the amount of fats, sugars, salt or carbohydrates, and 45% also look at the calories. Fruits and vegetables are bought according to the season and more than half of families prefer local products. Sustainability is increasingly involved in their food choices.
For most families, time is the key to a healthier life. Time to set up a weekly menu and to cook properly. For most of the families, it is difficult to combine a healthy lifestyle with a job and a busy family life. Finding a balance between quick and yet healthy food does not usually work and some families often rely on a not so healthy quick snack.
Families do not deny their responsibility for a healthy lifestyle, but they are convinced that it is a shared responsibility. They expect support from school, the employer, the government, the food industry and the advertising industry. Schools and employers need to offer healthier and more balanced lunches, drinks and snacks. Fruits, vegetables and healthy products are quite expensive, especially when compared to unhealthy products. Families ask for more promotion for healthy products and stricter standards for promoting unhealthy products, for food additives and for agricultural pesticides.
If you are interested in this survey, read the recommendations here (in Dutch)