Chancellor Schulz is considering taking far-reaching steps in the fight against fast food

Chancellor Schulz is considering taking far-reaching steps in the fight against fast food

If it were up to Chancellor Alexander Schulz (Public Health), fast food restaurants would be banned in certain neighborhoods and areas. He says this on the Park Politics program on AT5. According to the council member, there are neighborhoods in the city where there are not enough health options. Schulz would like to improve this through a new law and is also researching legal options for this.

Schulz doesn’t want to ban unhealthy choices and calls people’s freedom of choice “a great advantage.” However, he sees a problem in some neighborhoods. “It’s not true freedom of choice if 80 percent of the food supply in your area is unhealthy.”

Health is not a consideration yet

For this reason, the Chancellor wants to ban fast food restaurants in the neighborhoods where this happens, with an arrangement similar to that which applies to tourist shops in a large number of the center’s streets. However, this is not yet possible under current regulations. “We can control odors, noise and crowds in spatial planning. Health is not a formal consideration, but I would like it to be a consideration.”

According to Schulz, the problem is not limited to The Hague only, because the regulations have not yet reached this point. “The reality is also that health has not yet received enough attention in municipalities. Amsterdam has also made choices in the past that have been more economically focused than health-focused. Health does not receive nearly enough attention.”

State Secretary Martin van Oijen (Public Health) announced that municipalities will be given more tools to promote healthy eating, but these tools are not yet available. “I will work hard with The Hague to achieve this. In the meantime, we as a municipality are looking at what we can do ourselves through a new environmental law.”

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new law

In this new environmental law, the council member would like to be able to ban snack bars near schools or on streets where primarily unhealthy food is available. “We are already investigating what is possible with other municipalities and I hope I can start this in the short term. We have to show courage.”

If Schulz gets his way, half of a neighborhood’s food supply should consist of healthy options and the other half of unhealthy options. “Freedom of choice also remains important.”

Watch the full broadcast of AT5’s Park Politics program below, in which Chancellor Schulz also discusses the opportunities and threats of AI and answers the question: How far can you go as a government to enforce a healthy lifestyle?

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