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05.12.2019

The negative impact of the aging population on food consumption

The Belgian population, as in most Western countries, is aging while households get smaller. One of the consequences is a negative impact on food consumption. Why? Driven by physiological changes older people consume less. A Dutch study indicates that a person between 70 and 79 consumes 148 kilograms less a year than a person between 19-69*.  A 80+ person consumes 228 kilograms less than an adult between 19-69*.

If we combine these findings with Belgian population projections, we can estimate the impact of the aging population on overall food intake. As of the next decade, the average Belgian will consume 4 kg less food than today due to the large share of aged people in society. And off course this number will further decline.  This has as overall consequence that, compared to 2000, 80.000 less tons of food will be consumed this year.  And this figure will further rise to 221.000 tons in 2040.  Food for thought..

* Source = Dutch Voedselconsumptiepeilingen 2007-2010 and 2010-2012 (older age groups)

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