NCDs, like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases are now the leading killers in the Philippines

Source: WHO-Western Pacific Region Office

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are “now the leading killers in the Philippines, comprising more than 50 percent of all deaths each year due to the rising prevalence of overweight Filipinos in the country.,” the WHO-Western Pacific Region Office (WPRO) sounded this alarm.

Citing national nutrition surveys, the WHO-WPRO noted that there has been “slow but increasing childhood overweight and obesity rates” in the Philippines.

Evidence shows that overweight and obese children are likely to stay obese into adulthood and more likely to develop NCDs like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a younger age,” the WHO-WPRO said.

Based on the 8th National Nutrition Survey, the prevalence of overweight among children up to five years old has significantly risen from one percent in 1989 to five percent in 2013. The prevalence of overweight children aged 5-10 has also increased from 5.8 percent in 2003 to 9.1 percent in 2013.

The 2011 Global School-based Health Survey, meanwhile, showed that about 13 percent of adolescents in the Philippines are overweight and obese.

Expressing concern over the rising prevalence of overweight Filipinos, the World Health Organization (WHO) is now working with the country’s National Nutrition Council (NNC) for the development of an action plan against obesity.

A workshop was organized recently for the identification of priority areas of action as well as “population-based cost-effective approaches and activities to address rising childhood obesity rates.”

The NNC is expected to conduct a series of meetings and consultations after the workshop to review and enhance the draft Prevention of Overweight and Obesity Plan in the Philippines.

Hall noted that while governments have committed to stop the increase of childhood overweight and adolescent obesity.#