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Vietnam sees surge in childhood obesity

Vietnam sees surge in childhood obesity

Saturday, July 09, 2022, 09:27 GMT+7
Vietnam sees surge in childhood obesity
Dang Long Tu (L), a 17-year-old resident of Quang Nam Province in Vietnam, is 1.87 meters tall and weighs 125 kilograms. Photo supplied in 2021. Handout via Tuoi Tre

The prevalence rate of overweight and obese children in Vietnam has more than doubled within a decade, an expert told a seminar held in Hanoi on Thursday.

Speaking at the event, Assoc. Prof. Pham Ngoc Khai, president of the Vietnam Nutrition Association (VINUTAS), recapped the results of the 2019-20 National General Nutrition Survey.

By 2020, for every 100 children between the ages of five and 19, 19 were either overweight or obese, a sharp increase compared to the figure of 8.5 in 2010, according to the survey.

In the same period, the ratio of underweight and malnutrition-suffering children in the country fell from 17.5 percent in 2010 to 11.5 percent in 2020.

“Obesity is a disease with many different causes, including unreasonable nutrition, lack of physical activity, and frequent consumption of refined flour and processed foods high in sugar, fat and salt,” Assoc. Prof. Khai said.

“Besides, there are a number of other causes such as excessive use of electronic devices, genetics, endocrine and metabolic disorders.

“For malnutrition, it is often the result of meals that are poor in quantity and quality,” the expert added.

For solutions, Phan Thi Kim, chairwoman of the Nutrition and Food Safety Institute, said it is necessary to provide children with a reasonable and balanced diet and encourage physical activities among them.

A study by the Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health showed that at least 30 percent of adults in Vietnam lack physical activities. 

According to the United Nations Population Fund, Vietnam is in the top ten most sedentary countries in the world.

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Bao Anh - Duong Lieu / Tuoi Tre News


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