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HCM City looks to combat rising child obesity

Update: April, 06/2013 - 10:00

HCM CITY (VNS)— HCM City's Nutrition Programme for 2013-15 will focus on combating obesity and non-communicable diseases among primary-school students, a conference heard yesterday.

Do Thi Ngoc Diep, director of the HCM City Nutrition Centre, said the ratio of overweight and obese children was 38.5 per cent last year.

For children under five, the ratio was lower at 11 per cent. In that age group, the ratios of underweight and stunted children were the lowest in the country at 5.3 per cent and 7.6 per cent, she said.

Early intervention measures including setting up appropriate dietary intake and physical activities to reduce the increasing rate of obesity among children would also help them combat non-communicable diseases, she said.

The overweight and obesity ratio among women of reproductive age in the city is also high, jumping to 35.7 per cent last year, she said. Prevalence of diabetes among adults was 7 per cent.

The city would spend VND42.75 billion (US$2.05 million) for its nutrition programme, including prevention of malnutrition, obesity, and iodine and vitamin A deficiencies, she said.

HCM City has the highest rate of overweight and obese children in the country, Le Thi Hop, head of the National Institute of Nutrition, said.

Viet Nam has more than seven million children aged under five, with underweight and stunted children accounting for 16.2 percent and 26.7 per cent of them, she added. — VNS

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