In western industrialized countries more than 70% of all diseases depend on the way of life and diet. In terms of overweight, the Germans lead the way, according to new research. This raises the question of how such a development could come about. One explanatory approach is the lifestyle change over the last 5 decades.
Eating is a fundamental part of our lives. Food not only provides energy and nutrients but is also part of our culture and habits. Our society and thus the lifestyle and food culture have been strong in recent decades.
From the balance to the surplus
By the first half of the 20th century, the majority of the population was doing heavy physical work, for example in mining and in the fields. Today’s time is characterized by a lack of physical activity due to motorization and automation. If we look at the average energy intake and consumption over the last 5 decades, it becomes apparent that over this period the gap has widened even further.
Work and turnover have shrunk dramatically in recent decades. For an average adult German, this probably went down by around 40 percent. At the same time, since the 1950s, as a reaction to the years of hunger, the energy supply has risen sharply. Over the decades, the calorie intake has steadily increased and stagnates today at a high level. On average, every German has an energy surplus of several hundred kilocalories.
There is no longer the typical meal pattern
Although three main meals are still generally complied with, fixed mealtimes with the family become less common. It is no longer eaten at fixed times, but rather when the schedule allows it. The spontaneous hunger is often satisfied in passing by fast food.
Just as little as the meal itself is perceived, many are aware of the calorie amount of the small snack. Or would you have known that a Hamburger Royal TS with a medium portion of French fries and a small coke costs around 1000 kcal and thus covers almost half the calorie requirement of an average person?
2. The effort for food preparation decreases and more finished products are used
Dishes from the freezer or the can – so-called convenience food – meet these needs of saving time: They are quickly prepared, ready-made. Cooking and tasting become superfluous. To say lumpy that these dishes are unbalanced, but from a nutritional point of view, is inappropriate, because the range of services is very broad and the nutritional quality of the offers very different.
It is to be criticized that with the increasing use of finished products the original taste of the staple foods, as well as the competent handling with them, become more and more alien.
3. More and more people are eating out of the house
Increasingly, it is eaten out, either because it is best to have a good meal or a walk around the corner to the Italian after a long day at work, rather than swinging the wooden spoon yourself. According to the nutrition report 2004, a good quarter of the German population eats at least once a day.
Whether it is the canteen, cafeteria, restaurant or snack bar around the corner, the trend towards out-of-home catering is unbroken. Especially the midday meal is taken less and less at home. So many calorie bombs is served us. But here, too, applies: If you open-eyed critical review of the offer can make a healthy choice.
The time conflict on the topic of food
We have developed from a food producer to a pure consumer. This also reduces the abilities, skills, and willingness to cook. Our modern professional life often requires flexible scheduling. The result is that the topic of food is becoming more and more in the background: