Only 40 percent are considered normal weight: Germany is getting fatter

Burgers, kebabs, pizza and lots of sugar – the eating habits of many Germans are more than unhealthy. And that has fatal consequences for the body. imago images

Who’s Fat? “Dick is a slang term that is not really defined,” says Prof. Hans Hauner, director of the Else Kröner-Fresenius Center for Nutritional Medicine in Munich. If the so-called body mass index (BMI) is above 30, experts speak of pathological obesity or obesity, and the range of overweight lies between 25 and 29.5. A value between 18 and 24.9 is considered ideal in Europe. But fewer and fewer people reach it – Germany is too fat. Only 40 percent are considered normal weight in this country, explains Hauner – a minority. And 20 percent are even classified as obese.

Too much body fat has many negative effects: The consequences are a kind of stressful situation for the metabolism, slightly chronic inflammation, increased blood pressure and a greater strain on the joints on the feet or knees. “There is almost no organ in the body that is not potentially threatened by obesity,” said Hauner.

Is Obesity Morbid Or Inborn? “When it comes to being overweight, there are strong genetic influences,” says Hauner. “Genetic clinical pictures, some with feed addiction, only make up a maximum of 5 percent of all obesity cases.” Lifestyle factors, diet and exercise behavior have a much stronger effect. “Today there are three snack stalls with different flavors at every corner – so the temptation on the way home is of course great,” says Hauner.

One of the most common complications is diabetes

The body’s own reward system is also insidious: Even afterwards, or especially when you are already full, the Tiramisu that is later activated activates feelings of pleasure. “Eating is always an emotional process, and eating makes you happy,” says Hauner. These innate instincts are cleverly used by industry and advertising. Short-term enjoyment bears long-term health concerns. One of the most common complications is diabetes: 40 percent of those who are at least overweight develop diabetes, explains Prof. Jens Aberle, Chairman of the German Diabetes Society. A rising BMI is always accompanied by an increased risk of diabetes, the latest meta-analyzes showed. According to the expert, this relationship has been constant for years. “The longer you are overweight, the greater the risk of diabetes because it takes longer to damage the body.”

A comparatively high risk of diabetes appears more and more often in younger years, i.e. with under 40. Diabetes usually develops completely unnoticed. Increased sugar levels do not cause any symptoms at first – those affected do not notice anything and therefore do not change their lifestyle. The problems could increase in the future. Figures from the German Obesity Society (DAG) show that there will be around 1.3 million children and adolescents with obesity requiring therapy in ten years. Nutrition scientist Stefanie Gerlach from the DAG sees a serious problem for this generation: “The metabolism is shaped already in childhood, the body is incorrectly programmed for life.” In childhood, too, the taste is learned decisively, what in the future with a sugar-rich diet Desires for even more sweets intensified.

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