Food consumption data provide insight into the consumption of foods, intake of macro- and micro-nutrients. Also of potential harmful chemical substances and into food and nutrition trends. Food consumption data are essential for formulating and evaluating food policy, for public information purposes and for scientific research. Collection of food consumption data has been carried out since 1987 under the authority of the Netherlands Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. 

About DNFCS 2019-2021

RIVM has performed the the most recent Dutch National Food Consumption Survey (DNFCS 2019-2021) among  3,500 children and adults. The DNFCS shows what, where and when Dutch people eat and drink and compares this to the Health Council guidelines and references values. With this data, policymakers and professionals can work on  healthy nutrition, sustainable and safe food education and  food research. 

The results of DNFCS 2019-2021 are published in Dutch at An English report is available in which the methods are described in detail as well as the results on food consumption and evaluation with dietary guidelines.  A report on the intake of nutrients will follow in 2024. There are also more detailed tables (in English) available online at StatLine RIVM. A copy of the datasets (also of previous studies) can be requested for research purposes.

Dutch people are eating and drinking more healthily

We know this because of RIVM’s new Dutch National Food Consumption Survey 2019-2021. Dutch people are eating more plant products, like fruit and vegetables, unsalted nuts and legumes. They are eating less red and processed meat. They are also drinking fewer sugary drinks. 

Both children and adults are eating and drinking more healthily. However, most Dutch people are not following the Dutch dietary guidelines yet. This is less good news. In the Dutch dietary guidelines, the Health Council of the Netherlands describes which foods and eating habits lead to a healthier life. The advice is to eat enough fruit, vegetables and wholegrain products, like bread.

Dutch population’s salt and sugar intakes go down, fibre intake goes up 

This is  also apparent from the latest Dutch National Food Consumption Survey 2019-2021. Although these are positive developments, people’s intakes of some other nutrients continue to be too high or too low. 

Combined with a lower sugar intake, a higher fibre intake can help prevent overweight and chronic disease. A lower salt intake helps keep your blood pressure under control. Consequently, the noted developments have considerable positive health effects.

Some population groups have low intakes of particular types of vitamins and minerals, including the vitamins A, B2, B6, C and folate and the minerals calcium, iron and potassium. However, this is not necessarily a cause for immediate concern. Follow-up studies, such as nutritional status studies, are recommended to find out more about this. The same is true for the high intakes of some other vitamins and/or minerals. For people in all age categories, the intake of vitamin D has increased compared to the previous survey (2012–2016). However, vitamin D intake is still too low for elderly people aged 70–79. It is important that people in this age category stick more closely to the vitamin D supplement advice. A sufficient intake of both vitamin D and calcium reduces the risk of bone fractures.