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Dickmacher: Why finished products can harm health
The number of people who are overweight or obese (obesity) has been rising steadily for years. According to experts, this has to do with the fact that a large part of the food is heavily processed and contains a lot of sugar and fat. Some tips can help you reduce or avoid excess weight.
More and more Germans are too fat. In most cases, being overweight is due to an unhealthy lifestyle with little exercise and lots of high-energy food. Another problem is that there are camouflaged fattening agents in many foods.
Obese people are more susceptible to chronic diseases
According to experts, almost two thirds of men and half of women in Germany are overweight and thus particularly susceptible to chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.
The main reason for this is a much too high sugar consumption. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a maximum of six teaspoons of sugar a day. On average, the Germans consume almost twice the amount.
Among other things, this has to do with the hidden sugar in food. Saskia Vetter knows that too. In an interview with the Schleswig-Holstein Consumer Center, the nutritionist explains why modern finished products can harm our health. There are also tips for overweight.
Finished products often contain as much sugar and fat as sweets
The fact that the number of overweight people is steadily increasing has obviously something to do with the changed eating habits of the past decades.
As Ms. Vetter explains, for many people today, “saving time is crucial when it comes to eating and drinking. Ready meals promise quick enjoyment. But these products are heavily processed and contain a lot of sugar and fat. You don't see that there are many calories in it. "
For example, 100 grams of oatmeal has 370 calories. But the same amount of ready-made muesli contains up to 100 more calories. "Many barbecue sauces or ready-made salad dressings also contain as much sugar and fat as sweets," says Vetter, who works as a consultant for the food and nutrition department at the consumer center.
The high energy content is often camouflaged with small portions. The number of calories on some cereal packaging is given for 40 grams. But that is much less than most people fill their cereal bowl.
“Also: The percentages on the packaging relate to the daily requirement of an adult woman and thus distort the idea of how many calories are really in it. The situation is similar for other finished products. "
Recognize fatteners at a glance
When asked how to identify camouflaged fattening foods, Vetter replied: “If you want to lose weight, you should pay attention to the nutritional labeling when shopping. The Nutri Score brings one step forward. ”
As the expert explains, this new nutritional logo on the front of the packaging is an overall rating. "It ranges from a green A for a very favorable nutritional composition to a deep red E for products that are better rarely consumed."
This allows consumers to see at a glance which food has received a better overall rating.
Reduce calorie intake and avoid nutritional diseases
The German Alliance for Noncommunicable Diseases (THANKS) also reported in a message that this nutrition label can help reduce calorie intake.
According to this, a nationwide introduction of the Nutri-Score could reduce calorie intake by an average of nine percent and prevent thousands of deaths from diet-related diseases.
This is the result of a study published by the Universities of Paris, Grenoble and Borbigny in the "International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity".
Chewing contributes to satiety
Vetter sees the mostly intensively advertised drinking meals very critically. “The idea is to replace whole meals with shakes. There are big differences in the ingredients of the products. Some have a high sugar content. Others contain lots of sweeteners and flavors, ”says the nutritionist.
The expert points out that in liquid form you can consume many calories in a very short time without realizing it. That doesn't fill you up either, because chewing is no longer necessary.
“Chewing has been shown to contribute to satiety. Chewing and swallowing send satiety signals to the brain, while sweet tastes increase appetite. The result: you hardly feel full and you get hungry again quickly. ”
Balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables
The consumer center in Schleswig-Holstein points out that many people try to compensate for their bad eating habits with food supplements. But does that work?
“Fresh food is always the better choice than pills and powder. They provide enough vitamins and minerals. Dietary supplements run the risk of overdosing on some nutrients, ”explains Vetter.
“The result can be headaches or gastrointestinal problems, and organ damage can even occur in the long term. A balanced diet with plenty of vegetables and fruit is definitely the better and more enjoyable way. ”
Achieve and maintain healthy body weight
Special weight loss programs also promise quick success. But experts point out that you can lose weight in a short time with dieting, but the kilos come back quickly when you return to old habits.
You can only stay permanently slim if you recognize your own weak points and change your diet accordingly.
The calorie requirement plays an important role here. After all, the body uses less energy with increasing age. If you then eat exactly as much as before, you will gain weight.
It is therefore recommended to increase the calorie requirement with more exercise. It doesn't have to be high-performance sport. It also helps if you walk, cycle or climb stairs more frequently in everyday life.
There are different reasons for being overweight. In addition to lack of exercise, too large portions when eating, sweet drinks or high-calorie snacks in front of the TV can cause you to get fat. Those who manage to reduce or abolish their own fattening habits successfully lose weight and stay slim. (ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Schleswig-Holstein Consumer Center: Finished products as fattening agents - as much sugar and fat as sweets, (accessed: February 19, 2020), Schleswig-Holstein Consumer Center
- Deutsche Allianz Non-Communicable Diseases (THANKS): Nutri-Score lowers calorie intake - and the number of heart attacks, (accessed: February 19, 2020), Deutsche Allianz Non-Communicable Diseases (THANKS)
- Manon Egnell, Paolo Crosetto, Tania d'Almeida, Emmanuelle Kesse-Guyot, Mathilde Touvier, Bernard Ruffieux, Serge Hercberg, Laurent Muller, and Chantal Julia: Modeling the impact of different front-of-package nutrition labels on mortality from non-communicable chronic disease; in: International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, (published: 15.07.2019), International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity