Obesity is still a major problem in Germany despite the success achieved by the government intervention programs in bringing down the country’s high obesity rate. A July 2020 German study reported that on the average, obese individuals are losing as much as 4 years of normal life expectancy. In the past years, around 102,000 die prematurely every year due to obesity. On top of that figure are 110,000 annual early deaths as a result of smoking.
Such occurrences are critical to the slow growth rate that the country has been experiencing for years. On a national level, a relatively low number of Germans are bringing in new babies into the world.
The Slow Growth of Germany’s Population is Now an Emerging Concern
In the recent past, Germany’s population growth stayed stagnant at a rate of only 0.20%. If the resulting diseases caused by obesity and smoking will continue to decrease the life expectancy of the people, as well as cause more premature deaths, Germany’s population is expected to decline rather than grow by the year 2025.
While as of 2020, Germany’s population count stood at 82,540,450 people, researchers project that by 2050, the nation’s population will be reduced to less than 80,000,000; of which the projected number will be around 74.73 million German citizens.
Survey Shows Majority of Germans Believe that People Should Take Responsibility
The same survey revealed that the majority of the Germans who responded to the survey indicated willingness to support more government intervention programs that would tackle the country’s obesity problem. However, many are also of the belief that excessive body weights are results of self-controlled behaviors toward consumption of food and beverage.
The general consensus is that people should take personal responsibility for eating healthy and for maintaining healthy lifestyles. Yet while the perception about self-controlled attitudes is generally true, social experts opine that such views tend to underestimate the environmental and societal factors that contribute to obesity among individuals, particularly children.
Suggested Focal Points of Additional Intervention Programs
A separate study pointed out that the government’s intervention programs are for the prevention of obesity on individual levels. Yet the development of obesity in Germany is also caused by what experts call as an obesogenic environment. That being the case, intervention programs should also address the impact of obesogenic environment particularly on children.
The culture of drinking beer any time of the day is a culture in an obesogenic environment, in which overweight children and adolescents grow up to become obese adults.
One of the suggestions is to impose a ban on food advertisements since most unhealthy eating habits stem from childhood and adolescent stages. German children are constantly exposed to mass media adverts that lure children into eating food with low nutritional value and in many cases, high-calorie content. That is in considering the fact that children do not fully understand the psychology behind the attractions created by advertisers as a strategy.
Since German, particularly male adults, are large consumers of beer and meat, other suggestions being taken into consideration is to increase the Value Added Tax (VAT) on these products.
German Government Approves the Sale of Natural Weight Loss Supplements
In 2019, the German government took an important step toward reducing the level of obesity in the country, by approving the sale of Bladderwrack. The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices in Germany approved the seaweed powder sold in tablet form as a suitable remedy for weight problems.
Thereafter, other supplements followed, enabling the Reduslim Germany website to offer Reduslim fat burner supplements as a more effective remedy; not only for achieving weight reduction goals but in maintaining ideal BMIs.