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Quantifying health effects of nutrition

Kwantificeren van de gezondheidseffecten van voeding

Synopsis

Simulations show that with an elevation of fruit, vegetable and fish consumption large health gains can be achieved. Model simulation is a good method to underpin nutritional policy. The RIVM Chronic Disease Model (CZM) can be used to calculate long term health effects and health care related costs of policy targets and dietary interventions. Simulations show that with an elevation of fruit, vegetable and fish consumption large health gains can be achieved. On the other hand, most health benefits related to fatty acids composition are already achieved. If the Dutch population complies with the dietary recommendations on nutrition, in 20 years, about 140,000 deaths and about 3% of the costs of health care will be saved. As the life expectancy increases people will experience health costs later in life. Two dietary interventions, 'SchoolGruiten' and 'Werkfruit' are simulated within CZM. Children participating in 'SchoolGruiten' will see their life expectancy increased (+0.37 year). They will also, on average, stay healthy for a longer time, assuming long term effects of the intervention. In this way such a child will make less medical costs at a younger age, however most of this costs are only postponed. Introducing 'Werkfruit' in the Netherlands onto one out of 10 employers, will increase the life expectancy of an 20-year old by an estimated 0.08 year and decrease the health-related costs of the whole population with 0.2 percent.
 

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