Eating is something we do every day and at virtually all times of day: meals and snacks, fresh or from a tin, self-prepared or ready-made. We consume many different nutrients and other food constituents. What we eat affects our health. It is therefore important to know who is eating what, and the health benefits or risks that this entails.
RIVM researches the relationship between diet and
health. We conduct regular surveys to find out what people in the
Netherlands are eating; what is the typical Dutch diet? We also
determine what nutrients and other substances can be found in food,
and we assess the safety of new foods and food products.
RIVM is actively engaged in epidemiological research. This involves examining the influence of diet on the development of conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and overweight. To determine the precise effects, RIVM develops models which reveal the health gains and cost effectiveness of interventions. We also assess the veracity of manufacturers’ claims with regard to the beneficial effects of their food products and supplements. Doing so will also reveal any potentially adverse effects.
The findings of all RIVM’s research into diet and
nutrition are published as reports or scientific articles. We
devote attention to both the national and the international
significance of our results. Our research is commissioned by
national bodies such as the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport
(VWS) and the Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (VWA), as
well as by international organizations such as the WHO and the
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Our many research partners
include national and international universities, research
institutes, government authorities and the WHO.