HCM CITY — Overweight and obesity among children in HCM City have reached alarming proportions, increasing the risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, a senior dietician has warned.
|Students play games that help develop their physiques and spirit at HCM City Zoological and Botanical Garden. — VNS Photo Phuong Vy
Do Thi Ngoc Diep, director of the HCM City Nutrition Centre, said the rates stood at 12 per cent among children aged under five, or higher than the malnutrition rate.
Speaking at a conference held to discuss this year's nutrition plans for the city, she blamed it on inappropriate dietary habits and physical inactivity.
The malnutrition rate in that age group had been dropping constantly for the last few years.
The rate of underweight children under five fell to 5.9 per cent in 2011 from 6.8 per cent in 2010.
An estimated 76 per cent of households in the city used iodised salt, well below the national target of 90 per cent.
Her centre would continue to popularise information about nutrition to reduce overweight and obesity rates among children below five to below 12 per cent.
The malnutrition rate would remain below 8 per cent this year.
The centre also targeted increasing the percentage of households using iodised salt to prevent iodine deficiency. — VNS