The Barmer Atlas certifies that the north of Hesse has an above-average number of people with obesity. The South fares much better.
Kassel - The people of northern Hesse have to carry a heavier burden than the other inhabitants of the state. This is evident from the figures of the Morbidity and Social Atlas of BARMER. The Werra-Meißner district is particularly affected. With around 37 out of 1000 inhabitants, there are about 40% more overweight people than the German average. According to Barmer, this is 26.41 out of 1000. The number represents all cases of obesity related to the disease, i.e. people with a body mass index of 35 or more. The evaluation was based on data from those insured with Barmer in 2021. According to dpa, the health insurance company currently has 744,000 policyholders in Hesse.
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In second place in Hesse is the district of Kassel, which is 21% above the average. Waldeck-Frankenberg (+10%) and the Schwalm-Eder district (+2%) are also affected. As always, however, exceptions prove the rule. In Hersfeld-Rotenburg, the weight corresponds exactly to the German standard value. However, this means that the district still performs worse than the average Hessian. According to the study, this weighs nine percent less than in the German cross-section. In northern Hesse, only the Kassler can undercut this with -10%.
Obesity in northern Hesse: people in the south have less mass
The region around Frankfurt performs particularly well. Many districts there are about 30% below the German average. The Hochtaunuskreis performs best. Out of a thousand people, there are only about 17 severely overweight people there. Much thinner than most Germans are also the people of Darmstadt (-23%) and the inhabitants of the Odenwald district (-28%). Only the city of Offenbach (+18%) has a gross outlier with about 31 out of 1000 inhabitants suffering from severe obesity.
Obesity also depends on social factors in Hesse
In addition to the clinical picture, age and gender as well as some socio-demographic factors are recorded in the statistics. Across Hesse, women are affected slightly more frequently than men in almost all age groups. In addition, it becomes clear that severe obesity occurs especially in people between 40 and 79 years old. The correlation with income and level of education is particularly striking. Those who earn less than €25,000 and have a secondary school diploma have a significantly higher risk of developing obesity. Welfare recipients, the unemployed and pensioners are also very often affected.
The values of the individual industries are astonishing. Out of 1000 people working in public administration, almost 32 are severely overweight. The disease is also excessively widespread in the health and social care sector. Hessians who work in the hospitality industry, on the other hand, can consider themselves lucky. In this occupational group, the figure is only about 16 cases per 1000 inhabitants. The values of Hesse, which are active in agriculture, mining and construction, are also very low. (Tadhg Nagel)
If you are overweight, you are not automatically sick. Nevertheless, caution is advised, as certain diseases, such as cancer, can be favored. In many cases, a healthy diet and moderate exercise can help lower the risk of obesity.