97% of Belgians Consider Access To Healthy Food To Be A Basic Human Right

In a rare moment of agreement, 97% of Belgians of all ages and regions agree that the government should ensure access to healthy food for everyone because this is a basic human right. Firstly the government, and secondly the employers should ensure that everyone in Belgium has access to healthy food.


Key takeaways:

- 97% of Belgians - regardless of age, gender, or education - believe that access to healthy food is and should be a basic human right;

- 86% of Belgians across all age and educational backgrounds believe the government is responsible for providing access to healthy food;

- 52% of Belgians find employers responsible for access of their employees to healthy food whereas 36% believe this is not the employers’ responsibility.

- 70% of Belgians from all age groups agree that healthy food is more expensive than unhealthy food;

- The stereotype of the unhealthy blue-collar worker is still alive: 82% of Belgians believe profession affects food choices.

A survey of over 1153 respondents across Flanders and Wallonia found that 97% of Belgians strongly agree that healthy eating should be a basic human right for a developed country like Belgium. 86% of Belgians believe that the government should be responsible for providing access to healthy food for everyone in Belgium. 52% of the respondents agreed that employers should reward their employees with access to healthy food, while 12% have no opinion on it, and less than 36% disagreed.

The survey also pointed out that the perception of healthy food as more expensive than its unhealthy alternatives has yet to shift, with over 70% of Belgians claiming unhealthy food is usually the cheapest option in supermarkets. Following this topic, a majority (82%) of Belgians said they believed that profession is a defining factor in an individual’s diet, suggesting that the stereotype of the unhealthy blue-collar worker is still around. However, respondents over 26 years old were slightly more likely to make that claim than their younger counterparts.

Questions surrounding the effects of lockdown on the individual Belgian’s diet also yielded some surprising results. When asked whether the lockdown had affected their food habits, Belgians stood at both extremes, either claiming the lockdown has not changed their habits at all or extremely affected it. When asked whether they had regained their old food habits after lockdown ended, only 1 in 4 respondents agreed.

Marc Ferlet who leads Marketing and Communications at Unbox explains: “It confirms our belief that there is a huge demand, a real need for affordable access to healthy food across all Belgian demographics both in perception and reality.”

“I'm also happy to see that people think that governments have a large role to play in that. It encourages us, at Unbox, to continue our efforts in making healthy food more accessible and affordable. Not only will this increase individual well-being, it will also lower the country’s medical bills. And we finally found something that all Belgians agree on! ” Ruben Verhelst, Co-Founder and COO".

The field and online surveys took place from July 4th to July 15th. The survey was led by software company Unbox’s research arm in the hopes of finding out more about the opinions of Belgians when it comes to access to healthy food. Last year, Unbox launched a program with Delhaize to reward customers who filled their carts with NutriScores A&B products. More information on that can be found on www.ucoin.be.