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SPMC: Obesity growing trend among kids

NEARLY 1 in 10 kids in the city ages 5-10 are obese. 

Southern Philippines Medical Center pediatrics consultant Dr. Perlina Quitain said that obesity is not limited to first-world countries and high-income families. In fact, it has now become a trend among the young as 2016 data showed that 8.2% of the city’s population is alarmingly overweight.  

“Obesity does not target a specific age group, it can start as early as the age of five,” Quitain said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) statistics from 1975- 2016 show that the prevalence of obese children aged 5-19 years increased more than four-fold globally, from 4% to 18%.

Quiatin cited some of the factors contributing to obesity. which include lack of exercise, overconsumption of sweetened drinks, inadequate sleep, and consumption of nutrient-lacking foods such as junk foods.

Meanwhile, Beverly Tusoy SPMC nutritionist/dietician said that it could be hereditary or caused by the genetic disposition of a person. 

Tusoy stressed that since the genetic makeup of a person cannot be altered, they should focus on other factors to combat obesity such as 20-30 minutes of exercise per day such as jogging, walking, and playing outdoor games, weight management, and eating in moderation with the right portion.

She also stressed achieving a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables with sufficient amounts of protein, healthy fats, and fiber-rich food.

“Whatever we eat as long as we do not exceed the calories per day required, our weight does not increase,” she said.

The SPMC Gastroenterology & Nutrition Pediatrics urged the parents of obese kids to take necessary measures to avoid leading to more complicated health conditions.

Obesity in children increases the risk for noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma, and fat lung disease. 

The hospital intensified its campaign of obesity awareness in observance of “Obesity Prevention Week” in the first week of September in accordance with Proclamation No. 162 signed on August 21, 1999, by former president Joseph Ejercito Estrada.


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