Since the 1960s, our intake of calories has risen by 600 kilocalories per person per day in the industrialised world. In these countries, poor dietary habits are leading to obesity and lifestyle diseases in up to 65% of adults.
Around 70 percent of men and 50 percent of women in Germany are overweight, and one in five Germans is obese.
Researchers in the World Health Organization (WHO) predict that, by 2020, chronic diseases could be responsible for three quarters of all deaths worldwide.
The ideal feel-good weight
Our intake of energy should be in line with our energy requirement. If this happens, people are what we call a normal weight. People who are overweight take in more energy than the body requires. In contrast, people who are underweight consume less energy than their body needs. The optimum energy requirement depends on a number of factors, such as age, height, gender, weight, physical activity.
In order to monitor the ideal weight correctly, it is important to carry out a differentiated body analysis which takes into account not only weight but also the proportion of body fat and the amount of water in the body.
It is possible to reduce body weight by short-term dieting, but a reduction in the proportion of body fat is only possible over a longer period. This means that the overweight person will quickly put weight back on again once he starts eating normally again after his diet.
Only regular physical exercise can convert fat into muscle. Because muscles are heavier than fat, however, the scales do not register any great success.
So the best and easiest way of finding out all the real facts about one’s own weight is to regularly measure the proportion of body fat.