German nutrition strategy promotes plant-based and non-HFSS diets

Germany’s federal government has revealed what it describes as the ‘cornerstones’ for a nutrition strategy developed by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL).

Unveiling its key issues paper, Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture Cem Özdemir highlighted the scale of the challenge policy makers face. “A good two-thirds of men, around half of women and almost every sixth child in Germany are overweight,”he stressed.

According to government figures, around 15% of three- to seventeen-year-olds in Germany are overweight, including almost 6% who are obese. Initial studies, such as the COPSY study by the Hamburg-Eppendorf University Hospital on the well-being of children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic, also indicate that lack of exercise and an unbalanced diet among young people has increased significantly during the pandemic. , the government noted.

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture’s (BMEL) position paper sets out the guidelines for the country’s future food strategy, with the ambition to ‘make a contribution to the transformation of the food system and to create the framework and structures that enable everyone in Germany to eat healthily and sustainably’.

Özdemir said the nutrition strategy aims to address health inequalities associated with access to good nutrition, a factor that is tied to socio-economic status. “I don’t want to tell people what to eat. I want to make sure that it is possible for everyone in Germany to eat well and healthily – regardless of income, education or origin.” The Minister emphasized. Our strategy should focus in particular on children, people from households at risk of poverty and people with an immigrant background. It’s about opportunities. It’s about better opportunities for everyone.”


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