Young german citizens become the “food-to-go” generation

Around 52 percent of 14- to 34-year-olds frequently replace meals with quick snacks on the go – an increase of twelve percent within the past two years. The "food-to-go culture" is leaving its mark and is making itself felt on the scales, among other things: 55 percent of young Germans feel too fat. This is shown by the results of the representative study "Future Health 2016" of the Schwenninger Health Insurance and the foundation "The Healthy Workers". More than 1.000 adolescents and young adults in Germany between the ages of 14 and 34 were surveyed for this purpose.

While 84 percent of respondents would like to eat healthier, those resolutions take a back seat in everyday life, according to a study by Schwenninger Health Insurance Company. "The quick snack on the go doesn't have to be unhealthy, but it's concerning when people stop taking time to eat at their leisure," says Dr. Tanja Katrin Hantke, health expert at Schwenninger, which has 330.000 customers among the top 20 public health insurers. "The hasty bite while waiting for the bus, walking to work or driving home is associated with a loss of value to food and to one's body."

In addition, to-go nutrition on the road is often rather one-sided and not very energy-rich. The richly filled roll from the bakery or the noodles from the Asian snack bar are unhealthy if they dominate the diet. But even supposedly good foods like smoothies should only be consumed in moderation, because these fruit juices have a high fructose content. "Once a meal on the road is okay, but it should not be regular," says health expert.

Hantke calls for nutrition education from an early age. The foundations for a healthy life are already being laid in the very young. As the study shows, however, not all parents take care to feed their children appropriately. One in two young Germans surveyed was allowed to eat unlimited amounts of sweets, savory snacks and sugared drinks at home during their childhood.

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