Growing overweight: Germany is getting fatter

Growing overweight: Germany is getting fatter

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(dge) The number of overweight people in Germany continues to increase. 59% of men and 37% of women are overweight. Nowadays, fatness is so widespread in the working age group that it is no longer an exception, but the normal state. Men are particularly often too fat: at the end of their working lives, 74.2% are overweight. It is 56.3% of women of the same age. There is a positive trend in children starting school: In this age group, the occurrence of overweight has stagnated in recent years or even decreased slightly. The DGE published these figures in its 13th nutritional report, which may include: a. based on data from the Federal Statistical Office's microcensus.

"The reasons for the development of overweight have long been known," says Prof. Helmut Heseker, former president of the DGE, who worked on the topic for the 13th DGE nutrition report. “Many people in Germany eat too much energy-rich food and exercise too little. Inexpensive and tasty foods and drinks with a high energy content are available almost everywhere - whether at home or on the go. And these factors make it difficult to remain of normal weight. ”The DGE emphasizes the urgent need for action to overcome this social problem and makes it clear that enormous efforts will be required in the future to stop or reverse the obesity epidemic.

Pounds come earlier in men
According to data from the microcensus, men gain significantly more weight with age than women. Between the ages of 18 and 40, this is just under 11 kg on average. The normal-weight man is already in the minority from the age of 30 to 35 years. Men are overweight more often than women in all age groups. Weight gain is less pronounced in women: overweight people dominate only from the age of 55.

Obesity and obesity are classified with the Body Mass Index (BMI). Obesity is an umbrella term and refers to people with a BMI ≥ 25, with a BMI ≥ 30 they are obese.

Fat people are getting thicker
The rise in obesity is worrying. From 1999 to 2013, the proportion of obese men increased by 40% and that of obese women by 24.2%. Overweight increased by 8.3% in men and by 4.5% in women.

Obesity among the elderly
More and more older people are extremely fat. In the case of over 65-year-olds in particular, the number of people with very pronounced obesity (BMI ≥ 40) increased by 300% for men and 175% for women between 1999 and 2013.

Positive: Overweight among school beginners declined slightly, prevention measures seem to be taking effect

In the 1990s to 2004, the proportion of overweight and obese children in school enrollment increased significantly. Fortunately, the trend slowed down or stagnated in the following years. In the meantime, a decrease in prevalence has been observed in almost all federal states. The proportion of overweight children is currently between 8.2% and 12% depending on the state, of which between 2.8% and 5.3% were obese. Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria have the lowest proportion of overweight and obese children. According to the DGE, the increased perception of the problem and the associated nutritional measures could have contributed to this development. A good ten years ago, numerous initiatives in day care and school catering started at local, regional and national level, such as the development and introduction of the DGE quality standards. However, the numbers for overweight in childhood and adolescence are still at a high level and give no reason to give the all-clear - especially against the background that extremely overweight children and adolescents are gaining weight and that therapeutic programs are only effective to a limited extent. (pm)

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