More Filipinos at risk to lifestyle-related diseases

The government is intensively campaigning for healthy lifestyle to prevent Filipinos from the risk of hypertension, high fasting blood sugar and high cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

The healthy lifestyle campaign promotes trans-formation of various set-tings into healthy settings, such as healthy workplace, healthy-eating place, healthy communities and healthy schools, among others.

The campaign for health lifestyle was prodded by a survey undertaken by the National Nutrition and Health Survey (NNHeS II) by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) that showed that due to their lifestyle, more Filipinos are more at risk to cardio-vascular diseases, diabetes and other diseases.

The results of the survey showed that one in every four adults has hypertension or a blood pressure (BP) reading equal to or higher than 140/90 millimeter mercury (mmHg) and that it increased significantly from 22.5 percent in 2003 to 25.3 percent in 2008 based on single BP determination.

The survey further showed that 11 in every 100 have pre-hypertension or a BP reading at the range of 130-139/85-89 mmHg with high BP increasing from age 40-49 years.

Based on the result of the NNHNeS II, high fasting blood sugar is prevalent in five in every 100 Filipinos. High fasting blood sugar is an indicator of diabeter mellitus.

The prevalence of high fasting blood sugar rose from 3.4 percent in 2003 to 4.8 percent in 2008 and that high FBS or hyperglycemia peaks at age 50-59 years. The increase, however, is not significant, the result of the survey showed.

However, for every 100 Filipinos, three have impaired glucoses. Health authorities say this may progress to diabetes mellitus in a few years if not prevented.

The result of the survey also showed that dyslipidemia or abnormal lipid levels significantly increased from 2003 to 2008.

The survey showed that one in every ten Filipino adults has high total cholesterol level, while 21 in every 100 are borderline high. Further-more, 15 in every 100 have high triglyceride level, while 16 in every 100 are borderline high.

Message 10 of the Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos (NGF) developed by the Technical Working Group led by the FNRI-DOST recommended that for a healthy lifestyle and good nutrition, one must be physically active, make healthy food choices, manage stress, avoid alcoholic beverages and do not smoke to help prevent lifestyle-related non-communicable diseases. (Source: FNRI-DOST)