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Modern HungersFood and Power in Twentieth-Century Germany$
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Alice Weinreb

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190605094

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190605094.001.0001

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Fighting Fat

Fighting Fat

Obesity and the Healthy Body in the Late Cold War

Chapter:
(p.196) 6 Fighting Fat
Source:
Modern Hungers
Author(s):

Alice Weinreb

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190605094.003.0007

This chapter looks at the obesity epidemic that emerged in East and West Germany during the 1970s and 1980s. It compares the ways in which socialist and capitalist nutritionists and economists diagnosed and attempted to treat the new problem of widespread overweight. Despite expressing different attitudes toward fatness, East Germany and West Germany attempted to solve the problem of obesity using similar strategies, including expanding food options for private purchases and modifying the caloric content of institutional meals, especially in canteens. However, in both states these projects failed to reverse the population’s steady weight gain. When it came to fatness, the two states were more similar than not, despite deeply held beliefs that their populations consumed quite different diets.

Keywords:   obesity epidemic, East Germany, West Germany, dieting, Cold War, canteen, fatness, nutrition, weight loss

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