After the fall of Communism, a previously unimaginable range of food and drink began to appear on shelves in the Czech Republic. People had the opportunity to eat well and to eat healthily. But recently - as Western trends catch on and fast food culture grows - experts say there has been a noticeable worsening of the average Czech diet. In this week's Panorama, Chris Jarrett takes a look at how the Czech diet has changed since 1989.
Body image and eating disorders -the bane of rich countries - have become a serious problem in the Czech Republic in the last few years. More and more teenage girls starve themselves almost to death in the hope of acquiring the ultra-skinny look of fashion-models while young men take steroids to try and build up rippling, lean muscles. According to statistics five percent of the population now suffers from some kind of eating disorder, but experts believe the number could be much, much higher.
Exactly a month ago the American documentary "Super Size Me" opened in Prague. On the same day, a volunteer started a similar experiment to the one the film's director, Morgan Spurlock, went through. Instead of eating McDonald's food for a month like Morgan Spurlock did, the Czech "human guinea pig" volunteered to eat typical Czech pub food for thirty days to see what effect it was going to have on his health. On Wednesday night he presented the results of his experiment in a Prague cinema - and they were quite surprising.
Among the sweeping changes of the last 15 years in the Czech Republic, the diet of Czechs has also undergone a transformation. Though mostly this has been a shift away from traditional Czech foods, lately, game has been making a comeback as a popular dish. This can be best illustrated by the exploding numbers of game farms.
Czech demographers have been saying it for years and now it has been confirmed by the EU as well: Czechs are dying out. A population forecast released this week by the EU statistics office Eurostat predicts that by the year 2050 the number of Czechs will drop from 10 million to 8,800,000. Without immigration, the population might plummet to 8.1 million.
Many Czech women have, at least once in their life, come across cosmetics with herbal extracts produced by the Czech company Ryor. But how many have realized that the brains behind the successful brand is a woman? None other than Eva Stepankova. Now in her early sixties, she started Ryor by herself, in the basement of her house, sixteen years ago. Over the years it has become a household name.
As fashion designers and enthusiasts from all over Europe gathered in the Prague Exhibition Centre in Holesovice, the 5th International Moda Praha Fashion Festival was declared open on Wednesday morning, an event dedicated to the European design world and to the new Czech trends of the upcoming year. But to what extent does the future of the Czech clothing industry retain past preconceptions of male and female attitudes towards fashion?
The US documentary "Super Size Me" exposes American fast food culture as one of the sources of the population's obesity. Its director, Morgan Spurlock, lived on nothing but McDonald's food for an entire month. As a result he put on weight, his cholesterol shot up and doctors compared his liver to pate. The film has now reached Czech audiences and its release is accompanied by a similar experiment to the one the director of "Super Size Me" went through. A volunteer is going to eat only typical Czech pub food for a month and then reveal the
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