HCM City outlines strategy to cut childhood obesity

The municipal administration of HCM City aims to keep the rate of overweight and obese children under five years at less than 12 percent by 2020.
Children excercise at Children’s Hospital 1 in HCM City (Photo: congly.vn)
Children excercise at Children’s Hospital 1 in HCM City (Photo: congly.vn)
To achieve this, it will implement a strategy of increasing awareness of harmful eating and drinking habits, and promote consumption of nutritious meals.
Other targets that the HCM City People’s Committee announced on August 19 include reducing the rate of obese students in the city from 41.4 percent in 2014 to 25 percent by 2020. By the same year, it will also try to keep the number of adults suffering from diabetes to less than 12 percent.
Do Thi Ngoc Diep, Director of the HCM City Nutrition Centre, said that the rate of people aged 30 to 69 suffering from diabetes was 11.4 percent in 2015.
The city will create favourable conditions for society as a whole to help implement the strategy and achieve its targets. It estimates that it will spend more than 44 billion VND (1.9 million USD) on implementing the strategy to improve consumption of nutritious meals and reduce obesity and obesity-related complications.
It will call for investment from the private sector and close cooperation between many relevant agencies in order to raise funds and pool human resources.
Nguyen Thi Thu, vice chairwoman of the city People’s Committee, has asked municipal Health Department and relevant agencies to disseminate proper information on nutrition among residents, stressing in particular the need for children to eat well.
She said education on nutrition as well as provision of healthy meals will be strengthened in city schools.
Diep noted that the city’s 2011-2015 nutrition strategy had seen the average height of male students increase by 0.6 – 1.4 centimetres over 2009; and that of female students by 0.4- 3.9 centimetres.
The rate of malnourished and stunted primary school students dropped from 3.5 percent in 2009 to 2.3 percent in 2014; from 6.6 percent to 3.8 percent among secondary students; and from 10.7 percent in 2009 to 7.8 percent in 2014 among high school students.

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