Too much, too fat, too sluggish?

Too fat and too much - these are still the main flaws in German eating habits. Above all, it is problematic that more calories are consumed than would be necessary for today's normal daily routine. A lazy lifestyle is now a reality for most people. Computer workstations with a sedentary job make work easier not only in offices, but in warehouse work and in production on many machines. This has consequences: Numerous paths, stairs or physically heavy work falls away. Anyone who spends his free time lazily on the sofa and does all errands by car runs the risk of getting fat.

Risk factor overweight

In Germany, more than 65% of men and 55% of women are overweight (BMI> 25 kg / m 2 ), increasing their risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers such as cancer. B. colon cancer. This is how the German Nutrition Society e. V. (DGE) stated in their nutrition report 2004: "In order to improve the nutritional situation, a change of behavior in the population is necessary, which affects not only the diet but also the increase in physical activity". This statement is not new. Already in previous nutrition reports the DGE stated: "The Germans eat too much and too fat."

One could get the impression that we are lazy in two respects: tired and too comfortable for change. In concrete terms, that means something has to be done in Germany; move more and change the eating habits significantly.

nutrient density

"Nutrient-dense" food is the magic word for food choices with little exercise. These are foods that both have a low energy content and contain many important nutrients. These include z. Vegetables, fruits, whole grain cereals and low fat dairy products. Vegetables, fruits and potatoes should be much more often on the plates. 650 grams of vegetables and fruits daily, that would be ideal - with an average of about 300 g, we only reach half of the DGE recommendations.

background information

Energy, measured in calories or joules, is the "gas" of the body. Even when we sleep, the body consumes calories for the heartbeat, brain work, or the building and rebuilding of body cells, that is the so-called basal metabolic rate. In addition, energy is burned to keep body temperature constant, to digest food, and ultimately to work the muscles. Brain labor, such as learning or thinking, consumes comparatively less calories. Muscle work at work, leisure or sports, however, burns significantly more.

All adults - men (older than 25 years) and women (older than 15 years) - on average, consume more calories than they use in their work and exercise habits. Particularly high calorie intake have over 51-year-olds. This explains the many overweight people in Germany. They are more at risk for sequelae such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers such as cancer. Colon cancer and breast cancer (postmenopausal).

Where do the calories come from?

The nutrition report 2004 makes it clear that especially the intake of fat is currently too high. It is between 33 and 38% of the daily energy intake. However, people who exercise little should not exceed about 30 energy percent fat. In particular, they should pay attention to the quality or composition of the absorbed dietary fats and preferred vegetable fats such. B. Rapeseed and walnut oil.

But a look at the eating habits is only part of the solution to the overweight problem. "The growing prevalence of obesity in Germany is both a food and a movement problem, " the DGE in their nutrition report 2004 clearly. "Increasing physical activity could also help to achieve many nutritional goals without drastic dietary changes, as increased physical activity can make the energy balance more balanced".


Moans should definitely reconsider their diet. Avoid high-fat foods, especially those with high levels of saturated fat, and prefer "nutrient-dense" foods such as vegetables, fruits and high-fiber whole-grain foods, according to the Council for the Prevention of Obesity.

A high nutrient density is also ensured if the sugar intake z. B. on sweetened beverages, confectionery, cakes, etc. is reduced. (According to World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations, intake of various sugars should be limited to a maximum of 10% of energy intake.)

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