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Hidden hunger through Hartz IV


Millions of people in Germany suffer from hidden hunger
Doctors raise the alarm: There is a “hidden hunger” in Germany. Millions of adults and children are said to be affected. The reason: The Hartz IV standard benefits are hardly enough to eat a full and adequate diet from a nutritional point of view. The consequences are particularly fatal for children: growth and development disorders as well as some serious illnesses can result from malnutrition.

No acute hunger but lack of nutrients Nobody has to go hungry in Germany, is the common opinion of many experts and politicians. But nutritionists sound the alarm. "Many people in Germany suffer from hidden hunger," warned nutritionist Konrad Biesalski from the University of Hohenheim to the "Tagesspiegel am Sonntag". Especially children who have to live on Hartz IV are affected. They often lack important nutrients.

Because the standard rates are barely enough, many of those affected have to resort to cheap ready-made food. In this way, malnutrition arises from financial difficulties and the increasing degree of industrialization of food. "It's not just about getting full, but above all about staying healthy," explains Biesalski.

In his remarks, the expert referred to detailed studies by the World Food Organization FAO. According to their findings, a lack of vitamins and minerals leads to growth disorders and diseases. This is also economically bad. Because of the poor development in later life, those affected need social benefits such as Hartz IV again. This problem was briefly outlined in the federal government's poverty report, but detailed analyzes and countermeasures would be lacking.

500 euros rule rate One approach is the immediate increase in the Hartz IV standard benefits, calling for unemployed and social organizations. Independent experts have calculated that 500 euros per month instead of 399 euros would be sufficient to protect the health of children and adults. (sb)

Image: Melling liudmila / pixelio.de

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