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Food consumption habits in Germany—The clinician's point of view

  • K.D. Hepp
    Correspondence
    Address reprint requests to K.D. Hepp, MD, Krankenhaus Bogenhausen, Englschalkinger Str 77, 81925 München, Germany.
    Affiliations
    Third Medical Department and Diabetes Center, Krankenhaus München-Bogenhausen, Munich, Germany
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      Abstract

      Findings of the Nationale Verzehrstudie and Verbundstudie, Ernährungserhebung und Risikofaktorenanalytik studies are discussed in light of their clinical significance. Obesity increases the statistical risk of developing a number of diseases, of which the most important are cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Obesity causes insulin resistance and plays a part in the development of the metabolic syndrome. The Verbundstudie, Ernährungserhebung und Risikofaktorenanalytik survey shows that in the mid-1980s roughly one third of the German population was overweight. However, criteria for defining the overweight condition are variable. Overall data in Germany are comparable to those of several other population surveys, but regional increases are observed. Analysis of dietary intakes shows a marked deviation from recommended nutritional standards, especially in the distribution of total caloric intake as carbohydrate (42.8%) and fat (38.4%). Almost 9% of the population derived more than 20% of their energy intake from snacks. The data cannot provide a full explanation as to why people become fat. This may be due to the well-known problem of underrating and underreporting intakes, particularly by obese subjects.
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