Saturday, 27 February 2010

eating disorders and healthy diet

Discuss the causes of eating disorders and the importance of a healthy diet. Now there's a good topic for any one learning German.

What immediately comes to mind is which has a section on Gesund Essen. Following through to the Empfehlungen you'll find plenty of recommendations and links to other information sources.

What comes to mind with eating disorders - Essstörungen - are anorexia - die Magersucht - and bulimia - die Ess-Brech-Sucht. The latter illustrates some confusion about how to write words in German. It used to be Eß-Brech-Sucht but the ß has been replaced by ss and it is sometimes written as a single word without hyphens i.e. Essbrechsucht, or else as Ess Brechsucht. The easiest place to go for background reading is Wikipediaörung and that will also give you information about that wonderfully German sounding expression Binge Eating (note the capital letters). A further sources of information is Onmeda where you can look up all manner of things to do with health and illness. Bulimie and  Magersucht are both to be found via the Krankheiten A-Z  page.

Germany seems to have clubs and associations for everything and eating disorders is no exception. Take a look at BFE Bundes Fachverband Essstörungen e.V. They have a useful quick check page which, I think, will help with the discussion over the causes of eating disorders, so take a look at Test: Bin ich essgestört? and there are also Links für Betroffene und Angehörige. The following quote is from the BFE site

Essstörungen gehören in der westlichen Gesellschaft zu den häufigsten psychosomatischen Erkrankungen – mit mehr oder weniger deutlichem Suchtcharakter. Essstörungen äußern sich durch ein gestörtes Verhältnis zum Essen und zum eigenen Körper.

The numbers of people affected are much higher than I had expected. The figures for Germany are:  anorexia 100,000 people (90% young women) - bulimia 600,000 - binge eating about 2% óf the population. Warum sind Kinder aus sozial benachteiligten Familien fast doppelt so häufig betroffen wie Kinder aus der oberen sozialen Schichten?

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