One million euro for reducing health inequalities

Published on
March 10, 2022

A consortium led by Consumption and Healthy Lifestyles Group at Wageningen University & Research is a awarded 1 million euro by the Dutch Research Agenda (NWA) euro to reduce health inequalities.

About 25% of Dutch citizens find themselves in vulnerable positions. This includes people with problematic debts and/or receiving social assistance. People in those groups often lack sufficient financial resources and a supportive informal network. This stands in the way of a healthy lifestyle and good mental health..

Social policies without adverse effects

Social policies such as debt policy and social assistance benefits policy can improve the conditions for those groups, but can also cause additional problems such as administrative burdens and stress. In this project we investigate, in eight municipalities, how social policies can contribute to health whilst limiting adverse effects. Through developing implementation strategies, we aim for a break-through in creating circumstances that are beneficial to healthy lifestyles and mental health for citizens in vulnerable positions.

The chair group Consumption and Healthy Lifestyles at Wageningen University & Research is in charge of this 4-year project, which is funded through the Dutch Research Agenda (NWA) “Health Inequalities, – Promoting Health Potential of People with Lower Socioeconomic Status”.

This project is a collaboration with Empirical Micro-Economics at Leiden University, Utrecht University School of Governance, and Interdisciplinary Social Science, Professorship Debt and Collection at HU University of Applied Sciences, Research Information and Statistics of the municipality of Amsterdam and Municipal health services, region North and East Gelderland.

Participating municipalities are Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Doetinchem, Aalten, Elburg, Brummen, Ermelo en Bronckhorst. Implementation partners are the partnership Schouders Eronder (Divosa, Sociaal Work Netherlands, NVVK, VNG, LCR), the Dutch Council for Public Health and Society (RVS) and the Dutch ministeries of Social Affairs and Work, and Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.