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National nutrition strategy to focus on education, communication

Update: February, 13/2016 - 09:00
The city has 13.4 per cent of primary students with high blood pressure. — Photo

HCM CITY(VNS) — Health experts have recommended that HCM City's 2016-2020 national nutrition strategy should focus on education and communication, as well as research on nutrition to control obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and lipid disorder.

The city has seen an increase of these diseases in the last five years, according to health experts.

Monitor and screening programmes should also be enhanced, said experts speaking at a recent workshop on the city's 2011-2015 national nutrition strategy.

More effective training of human resources on the subject of nutrition was recommended.

According to a report from the city's Nutrition Centre, the rate of students from primary to high school levels who were overweight or obese increased from 18.6 per cent in 2009 to 41.1 per cent in 2014.

This included at least 21.9 per cent of children under 5 years old.

The city has 13.4 per cent of primary students with high blood pressure, said Đỗ Thị Ngọc Diệp, head of the nutrition centre.

The proportion of secondary students high blood pressure is 16.9 per cent and for high school students 19.1 per cent.

Compared to females, the rate was higher for male students.

In addition, the rate in outlying districts was lower than the rate for children living in the inner city.

Diệp said that chronic conditions such as these had been increasing in recent years.

She said that solutions to prevent and control these conditions must be implemented soon.

The report also showed that the city had achieved its targets in the 2011-2015 national nutrition strategy.

For instance, the proportion of children and adults with malnutrition and mineral deficiencies fell and is now the lowest in the country.

Particularly, stunting among children under aged five dropped to 6.4 per cent. It fell by 4.1 per cent for children who weighed less than what is normal for their age.

The rate of female high school students with iron-deficiency anemia among all students fell from 25 per cent in 2011 to 8 per cent last year. This reduction was due to iron tablet supplementation.

Also, the height of students increased by 0.4-3.9 centimetres during the period.--VNS

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