Healthy food - for what?

Clear answer: gain in life and quality of life! Although "healthy" is also a trend in the food industry. A healthy diet - like a healthy lifestyle in general - is too time-consuming for many people. It can be said clearly: First of all being sick is time-consuming, moreover painful and expensive; It lowers the quality of life and shortens life! Nutrition plays a role in two out of three deaths, the German Nutrition Society reports in its 2004 nutrition report. In Germany, cardiovascular diseases and malignant tumors have been the leading causes of death by far for years. By changing the diet, the occurrence and development of these diseases can be positively influenced.


A calculation for the European Union has shown that at least one in 13 deaths can be linked to overweight or obesity (morbid obesity). Converted to the total number of deaths in 2004, this would mean 62,943 deaths for Germany alone. The increased mortality is reflected in a shorter life expectancy: According to data from the Framingham Heart Study, overweight women without previous illnesses over the age of 40 die 3.1 years earlier than normal-weight women. In men it is 2.6 years. On average, women with obesity live 7.0 years shorter, and obese men 6.9 years.

"Deadly Quartet"

Also in diabetes mellitus type 2, which is primarily caused by a wrong diet, many years of life are lost due to the many complications and serious long-term consequences. A study from Canada found that the life expectancy of diabetics is 12 years lower than that of people without this metabolic disorder. Obesity, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar and blood lipid levels are closely related and commonly referred to as metabolic syndrome or "deadly quartet". The following causes of death are for example heart attack and stroke. High blood pressure (hypertension) is particularly important as a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that in developed countries about 20 percent of deaths are due to high blood pressure levels. High cholesterol levels are second in nutritional risk factors. Again, both factors are directly related to an unhealthy diet: too many calories, too many fats, too much table salt.


A completely underestimated cause of death in Germany is osteoporosis. This most common bone disease almost never appears on a death certificate. However, experts estimate that it is responsible for 80 to 90 percent of femoral neck and vertebral fractures in women over 65 years of age. And fractures close to the hip joint have a mortality risk of about 20 to 25 percent in the first six months.

Here, too, can be achieved through the diet - especially at a young age - much: A diet rich in calcium, potassium, vitamin D and vitamin C, counteracts the development of osteoporosis.

Clear record of these numbers

It pays to invest time in a healthy diet - just like in a healthy lifestyle! For who wants to die earlier or be ill for several years? Heike Brinkmann-Reitz, nutrition expert at the German Green Cross e. V. (DGK), therefore recommends: "Start right now with small changes, for example, a crisp salad instead of the sausage and take the stairs instead of the elevator!"
Source: Kroke, A., Walz, A .: Mortality from diet-related chronic diseases. In: DGE (Hrsg.): Nutrition report 2004. Bonn 2004, S. 94-115



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