Two in every five Filipino adults are overweight, obese – nutrition survey

CEBU CITY – Two in every five adult Filipinos, or 37.2 percent, are overweight and obese, and are at major risk of contracting non-communicable diseases, based on the Eighth National Nutrition Survey of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Worse, the prevalence of obesity among adult Filipinos continues to gradually increase.

This was disclosed at the Obesity Awareness Online Forum, which was held here Thursday, September 24.

According to National Nutrition Council Region 7 (NNC 7) Director Parolita Mission, obesity is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and certain types of cancer.

The online forum was aimed at increasing awareness of netizens about being overweight and obesity, its causes, and the health consequences if these remain unmanaged, and offering ways to flatten the protruding belly curves even while working at home in this time of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Mission said.

She said that the activity hoped to encourage companies, agencies, and organizations both public and private to initiate or sustain healthy lifestyle program for their employees and their families.

“In this time of pandemic, people are all vulnerable to COVID-19 and this vulnerability is affected by our nutritional status. We are aware that malnutrition weakens our immune system,” she added.

Following the protocol of staying at home, more families are consuming more of the so-called junk foods or foods that are high in calories but low in nutrients, coupled with sedentary lifestyle.

“This has been shown to increase the risk to obesity and non-communicable diseases,” Mission said.

Those with co-morbidities and are obese develop more severe consequences if affected by the virus, she added

But Mission said Filipino adults living in Central Visayas appear to be more fit.

 “It is a little better in Central Visayas with three out of 10 or 29.4 percent of adults here are overweight and obese,” she noted.