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Diet therapy as a targeted measure against obesity
Lars Lindemann, health expert of the FDP parliamentary group and Doris Steinkamp, president of the Association of Dietitians (VDD), explain the ever increasing numbers of overweight children: “There are around 2 million overweight children in Germany. 800,000 of them are pathologically fat, obese. Both make them strong for the assumption of the costs of diet therapy, because this is an optional benefit of the health insurance companies, i.e. the service cannot be claimed by the patient.
The pathological obesity has serious consequences for the health of adolescents and often leads to psychosocial problems. For example, many overweight children and adolescents suffer from depression, social exclusion and find it particularly difficult to find an apprenticeship. The proportion of obese children and adolescents has been increasing steadily worldwide for some time. Children from weaker families in particular are affected two to three times as often as children from other backgrounds.
Expensive and funded obesity surgery is currently being used more and more in young people. An instrument that is cheaper for society and less stressful for patients would be medically prescribed diet therapy, which, however, currently has to be paid for as a rule. This is despite the fact that the Federal Social Court confirmed more than ten years ago that diet therapy is a cure. To date, however, it has not been included in the therapeutic guidelines for diet therapy. The independent and clinically active dieticians must also be strengthened in their position. The knowledge of what is healthy is atrophied in many children.
That is why it is no longer just a matter of preventing obesity, but of individually tailored therapies that bring about a long-term change in behavior. For this reason, dietitians work with nutritionists, psychologists and physiotherapists, for example. We are therefore committed to ensuring that diet therapy is finally recognized as a cure
to ensure that all patients suffering from obesity have a safe, financed alternative. (pm)