|Malnutrition has been blamed for Vietnamese people’s shortness compared with their peers in Asia and Europe. — VNA/VNS Photo|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has approved the Vietnam Health Programme to improve the well-being, stature, lifespan and life quality of Vietnamese people.
The programme sets three goals – to promote a healthy diet and lifestyle with appropriate nutrition and increased physical activity to improve Vietnamese people’s stature and well-being; to raise public awareness for behavioural change to protect health and prevent health-related risks; and to provide constant and long-term primary healthcare services to reduce the burden of illness on the community and enhance people’s quality of life.
To achieve the goals, it will focus on improving healthcare for children and students; reduce dependence on tobacco and alcohol; ensure environmental sanitation and food safety; and foster the early detection and management of a number of non-communicable diseases, community-based healthcare provision, and the delivery of healthcare services for the elderly and workers.
The Vietnam Health Programme will link different programmes and projects on related issues to strive towards these goals.
It will be implemented nationwide from 2018 – 2030. From 2031, the programme will review its goals and priorities based on the results and situation at that time.
Malnutrition has been blamed for Vietnamese people’s shortness compared with their peers in the rest of Asia and Europe, according to the National Institute of Nutrition.
Vietnamese men are 163.7cm tall on average – 13.1cm shorter than the World Health Organisation standard, while Vietnamese women are 153cm on average – 10.7cm below the standard. Compared with peoples of other countries in the region, Vietnamese people are on average about 8cm shorter.
The clearest difference in height between Vietnamese people and others is seen in children of 6-12 months old and 6-11 years old.
Nutrition experts affirmed that genetics are not responsible for Vietnamese people’s shortness. Vietnamese children who are born and grow up in Europe grow as tall as those in their host country.
Factors that affect children’s height and weight mainly occur in the foetal stage and in their first two years, so it is vital to provide the correct micronutrients to children during those periods, they said. — VNS