Home Agriculture Obesity causes 37,000 deaths among Filipinos

Obesity causes 37,000 deaths among Filipinos



The problem of overweight and obesity in the country is alarmingly increasing in number, affecting about 7 out of 10 women and about 1 out of 10 men, according to 7th National Nutrition Survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST).


Obesity affecting the Filipino adults is known as android or apple-shaped type, where abdominal fat accumulation is measured using waist-hip ratio (WHR). The WHR criteria are recommended by the World Health Organization and considered as a sensitive measure in relation to cardiovascular diseases (CVD).  A person with WHR equal to or more than 1.0 in men or equal to or more than 0.85 in women is considered android or apple-shaped obese.


The relative risk associated with apple-type obesity among Filipinos was found to be more than twice the risk of developing coronary artery disease (CAD) and almost thrice the risk of developing CVD including stroke. This accounted for at least 37,000 deaths in 2008, the FNRI-DOST added. Thus, obesity is considered as the third leading cause of CAD and CVD, next to hypertension.

            “Apple-shaped” women were six-times greater than their men counterparts which accounts for about 13,000 and 3,000 CAD deaths, respectively. On the other hand, around 21, 600 deaths due to CVD including stroke was reported by the FNRI-DOST.


In addition, the NNS results showed that android obesity has increased significantly in the last ten years, from 40.0 percent in 1998 to 65.5 percent in 2008 among women. Among men, there was slight decrease from 12.1 in 2003 to 11.1 percent in 2008.


Obesity is known as a co-morbid factor to other chronic diseases including hypertension, type 2 diabetes, cholesterol problems, among others, according to the NNS.


Results of the clinical and health component survey of the 7th NNS were reported by Ms. Charmaine A. Duante, Senior Science Research Specialist of the FNRI-DOST during the 36th FNRI July Seminar Series at Bicutan, Taguig City.


According to Ms. Duante, the study primarily aimed to provide reliable national prevalence of four CVD risk factors like hypertension, diabetes and dyslipidemia and three behavioral risk factors such as smoking, alcohol drinking and physical inactivity among Filipino adults 20 years old and above.


The report also highlighted the different age groups among Filipino men and women who were at greater risk to chronic lifestyle-related diseases.


This interesting result of the FNRI-DOST provides basis for formulation and strengthening of a more systematic, gender and age specific approach by the government and private sectors to promote behavioral change modification at the individual level.


The FNRI-DOST would be pleased to have these data disseminated and used by individual or other organizations to promote healthy lifestyle which actually starts in maintaining a normal body weight among Filipinos. By doing so, the country’s annual toll due to obesity-related cost will be reduced if not totally eliminated.


For more information on food and nutrition, contact:  Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City; Tel/Fax Num:  8372934 and 8373164; email: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph, mar_v_c@yahoo.com; FNRI-DOST website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph. (FNRI-DOST/Eva Abille-Goyena)


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