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 the food culture have changed a lot in the last 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 ever further.
Work and turnover has 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.
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:
1. 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's best to do business with a good meal or because the walk around the corner to the Italian after a long day at work is more relaxing than swinging the 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 meals is unbroken. Especially the midday meal is taken less and less at home. So many calorie bomb is served us. But here, too, applies: If you open-eyed critical review of the offer can make a healthy choice.
Healthy Living - Prevent Diseases
As mentioned above, a variety of diseases are favored by one-sided diet and unhealthy lifestyle. This in turn means that healthy food, exercise, and avoidance of smoking, alcohol, and obesity can help us do something for our health. We want to examine the influence of diet and lifestyle on the development of diseases or the maintenance of health in a series of articles for you and give you many tips on how you can actively pursue a healthy lifestyle in our current living environment.