National and Local Strategies in the Netherlands for Obesity Prevention and Management in Children and Adolescents

Jaap Seidell*, J. Halberstadt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Background: As in many other countries around the world, the Netherlands has a high prevalence of overweight and obesity in children. About 1 in 7 of children aged 2–19 years has either overweight or obesity.

Summary: In this paper the national and local activities aimed at the prevention and management of obesity in children and adolescents in the Netherlands are reviewed. It is recommended to, nationally as well as locally, take an integrated-systems approach that tackles the obesogenic food environment as well as upstream and downstream determinants of obesity. Efforts should take a life course approach and be focused on promoting obesity prevention as well as improving the management of children who already have obesity. The national policies in the Netherlands rely heavily on self-regulation by stakeholders such as supermarkets, restaurants, and the food industry. Local policies and actions such as the whole-systems approach in Amsterdam are promising. Future directions include development of tools for the operationalization and evaluation of local systems approaches. Regulation by national and local governments is necessary to ensure a healthy food environment for children and their families, but health policies require intersectoral action.

Key Messages: In the Netherlands many policies are in place or under development, especially at the municipal level (e.g., in Amsterdam), but more substantial action is urgently required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-429
Number of pages12
JournalObesity Facts
Issue number4
Early online date18 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Working title: National and local strategies for obesity prevention in children and adolescents.


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