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Does the national diabetes strategy fail due to economic interests?
Type 2 diabetes is becoming a widespread disease - with half a million new cases every year. Nutrition experts blame the generally poor diet of many Germans for the constantly growing numbers. The nutrition committee in the Bundestag seems to disagree here and is reluctant to take measures that would promote a generally healthier diet.
The German Alliance for Noncommunicable Diseases (DANK) and the German Diabetes Society (DDG) sharply criticize the behavior of the Committee on Food and Agriculture, which is supposed to draft a national strategy against diabetes. Implementation is now about to end, as some politicians are vehemently opposed to far-reaching changes - apparently in order to protect economic interests.
Imminent end to national strategy against diabetes
The deputy chairwoman of the SPD parliamentary group, Bärbel Bas, confirmed to the Ärzteblatt that the negotiations on a national strategy against diabetes have stalled. The reason is that some food politicians of the Union faction block the project. The Nutrition Committee did not reach any consensus, particularly on measures aimed at reducing children's sugar consumption.
"Urgency is ignored"
As the specialist societies DANK and DDG emphasize, diabetes is not a trifle, but a serious and often fatal illness. Meanwhile, every fifth death in Germany is related to diabetes. Diabetes also shortens the lifespan of middle-aged people by six to twelve years. With 500,000 new cases per year, one could populate a large city like Cologne with diabetics every second year.
Advertising ban for unhealthy products demanded
"We therefore urgently need a national diabetes strategy that includes binding measures in the area of nutrition," demand the specialist societies. This includes a ban on advertising for unhealthy products aimed at children. At this point, interests differ, because some politicians do not want to accept an advertising ban.
Who benefits from advertising?
"Nobody but industry needs commercials that encourage children to eat more sweets," emphasize the societies. They call on the politicians concerned to give up their blockade and to fulfill the promise of the coalition agreement. This is the only way to pave the way for better protection of children's health.
Food industry has to rethink
The professional association of pediatricians e. V. (BVKJ) criticizes the blockade. "Without the food industry it doesn't hurt," explains BVKJ Vice President Dr. med. Sigrid Peter. If the CDU sticks to not limiting the sugar content in food for children in the future, the national diabetes strategy makes no sense as a whole. "Politics must ensure conditions that enable children and adolescents to grow up healthy," continues Peter. Coalition-internal differences should therefore now be cleared up as quickly as possible. (vb)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek
- Deutsche Allianz Non-Communicable Diseases (THANKS): Diabetes Strategy: Who Needs Advertising for Unhealthy Products? (published: 29.01.2020), ank-allianz.de
- Ärzteblatt: Nutrition Committee Blocks National Diabetes Strategy (published: January 22, 2020), aerzteblatt.de
- Professional Association of Pediatricians e. V .: Pediatricians: "Limiting the sugar content in food for children must become part of the national diabetes strategy" (published: 16.01.2020), kinderaerzte-im-netz.de