childhood obesity reaches alarming proportions in Indonesia

childhood obesity reaches alarming proportions in Indonesia

Seven-year-old Satia Putra, weighing 101 kilograms, is being treated for obesity at the Karawang Hospital in West Java. (ANTARA/Muhamad Ibnu Chazar/sh)

Badung, Bali (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Association of Food and Nutrition Experts (Pergizi Pangan Indonesia) has drawn attention to a disturbing rising trend of overnutrition-triggered obesity in Indonesia.

"Obesity in Indonesia has recorded an increasing trend of 18 percent. Other countries, including Malaysia, have witnessed a 40-50 percent rise," Chairman of Pergizi Pangan Indonesia Prof. Dr Hardinsyah, who also served as chairman of the Asian Congress of Nutrition 2019, remarked here on Monday.

Some 10 percent of the cases of overnutrition were recorded among children below the age of five, he added.

Hardinsyah stated that overnutrition is chiefly caused by improperly managed dietetic intake, low levels of physical activity, less or excessive rest, and stress.

To address the problem of overnutrition among children, the government will need to put in place a regulation to encourage physical activity among students at schools, promote healthy lifestyle among the public, and provide safe and comfortable access for pedestrians, he stated.

The increasing trend of online service application might become causal to the rising prevalence of obesity, though research on it yet eludes all, Hardinsyah pointed out.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a substantial disease burden, including chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer, is attributable to health risks related to overnutrition or the overconsumption of specific foods or food components.

A total of 35 million deaths due to chronic diseases were recorded globally in 2005, 80 percent of which were in low- and middle-income nations.

In several developing countries, especially in urban populations, the consumption of energy-dense nutrient-poor foods -- high in fats and sugars and deficient in nutrients -- has increased while physical activity has decreased.

Social and economic progress has led to higher intake of meats, oils, and sugars as cheap processed foods. Concurrently, the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and grains has decreased.

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