Malnutrition and the First 1,000 Days of Life: Causes, Consequences and SolutionsEditor(s): Biesalski H.K. (Stuttgart)
Black R.E. (Baltimore, Md.)
State of the Art: Malnutrition in High-Income Countries - What Is the Evidence?
Hidden and Neglected: Food Poverty in the Global North - The Case of GermanyPfeiffer S.a · Oestreicher E.a · Ritter T.b
aChair of Sociology (550D), University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, and bInstitute for Social Science Research (ISF Munich), Munich, Germany
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Although still a powerful economy, Germany faces rising income inequality and food insecurity. Quantitative data show that nutritional poverty in Germany has become a fact, especially for social welfare recipients. This contribution gives an overview and discusses the limits of results from different data sources, such as German food surveys, and addresses how affected population groups are systematically underrepresented. To give a more thorough impression of food insecurity in Germany, the article compares nutritional consumption data from the Statistics on Income and Living Conditions/Eurostat survey for Germany, the members of the European Union 27 (EU27), and Greece. The figures for Germans with incomes below 60% of the median equivalised income who cannot afford one proper meal every second day are worse than those in the remaining EU27 member nations, and the figures for their children are not so far from the figures for crisis-stricken Greece. As eating is not only about nutrition but also a means of social activity, we consider the ability to eat and drink with friends an issue of alimentary participation. The percentages of Germans who cannot afford a drink or meal with others at least once a month is very high compared to the rates of the remaining EU27 member nations and Greece. The provided quantitative figures prove that we see serious signs of food poverty in portions of Germany, despite its comparatively strong economy. Data from hundreds of qualitative interviews describing how people stricken by food insecurity try to cope with the situation complement these results. Such data are very important, as governments widely underestimate the problem and leave it to be dealt with by food banks as the only institutional solution.
© 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel
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