Rarely does a week go by that another story pops up somewhere decrying Americans’ “meat-heavy” diet as the cause of some serious societal ills—plus a few others that have nothing to do with diet and nutrition.
If it’s any consolation, the situation in Germany is similar, with meat consumption being targeted as the culprit in an increasingly worrisome problem afflicting virtually all of Western Europe.
According to a recent article published by Deutsche Welle (“German Wave”), “Many Germans still stick to their unhealthy diet of too much meat and alcohol. Though there are some positive trends, too many Germans are still overweight, and also at risk of other illnesses, like cancer.”
Indeed, a new study by the Robert Koch Institute reported that 53% of women and 67% of men in Germany are now considered overweight; the researchers also noted a significant increase in the more serious statistics on obesity.
Got that? Despite those “positive trends,” meat (and alcohol) are responsible for causing obesity and cancer.
“Whether it’s pork knuckle, sausage, schnitzel or potato salad, the traditional German cuisine is heavy on meat, fat and calories,” the article stated.
Pretty strong statements, right?
However, here’s how the article continued: “But eating habits are somewhat different these days. A 2012 report on what Germans eat, commissioned by the government in Berlin, shows that habits are changing.”
Meat eating in decline
How are they changing? According to a 2012 study by the German market research firm GfK Panel, “The younger generation [in Germany] is eating much less (sic) meat and sausage products than older consumers, and they are not—or only rarely—willing to change their eating habits when growing older. Together with a declining population, this so-called ‘cohort effect’ will have a negative impact on the [meat] industry.”
In its report titled, “Decrease in meat consumption on the German market,” GfK forecast a 6% reduction in red meat consumption over the next 5 to 10 years, with the decline potentially reaching 9% during that time span.
By the way? Wine and beer consumption in Germany is also on the decline, according to government study.
So on one hand, some 60% of men and 43% of women in Germany are considered overweight, percentages that continue to increase. Why? “They’re overweight because they still eat too much meat,” Deutsche Welle concluded.