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World Obesity Day highlights Urgent Global Health Concerns

The Department of Health Cordillera held its third episode of the “UHC Sirib Series” last March 15th, with one of the various topics focusing on World Obesity Day.

During the discussion, Dr. Kimberly A. Rimando-Valera from BGHMC emphasized the gravity of the situation, describing obesity as a chronic and complex disease characterized by excessive adiposity (body fat) that can severely negatively impact health.

The statistics provided during the program showed the massive increase in obesity in the world. Since 1990, worldwide adult obesity rates have doubled. In 2020 alone, an estimated 2.6 billion adults, constituting 38% of the global population, were overweight.

Moreover, projections suggest that by 2035, obesity rates could rise as high as 24%, with already one in eight people living with obesity as of 2022.

In the Philippines, Dr. Rimando-Valera has mentioned that adult obesity is projected to affect 17% of the country’s population by 2035, with an annual increase of 4.6%. With even children included with a projected annual increase of 6.9% in obesity rates.

Dr. Rimando-Valera outlined various factors, including dietary habits, environmental influences, emotional or psychological triggers, certain medical conditions like hormonal disorders, lack of sleep, medications such as antidepressants, and insufficient physical activity.

To combat these, Dr. Rimando-Valera emphasized the three essential elements of lifestyle. These include dietary habits, physical activity, and behavioral modification.

“Lifestyle modification, diet plan, physical activity is not across the board. It has to be individualized. Although meron tayong general recommendations, for a successful weight loss program, kailangan iaddress nnatin lahat ng mga individual concerns.” Dr. Rimando-Valera expressed this during her discussion.

In response to the growing crisis, BGHMC has launched initiatives like “Journey to Fitness and Beyond”. These programs aim to promote healthier lifestyles and empower individuals to take control of their health.

Dr. Rimando-Valera concluded her talk by saying “Weight loss is not an overnight success. It is a journey… Sometimes or most of the time, it is enjoyable if you have your friends with you. ”

**Photo credit: Canva**

~Adrian Paul Andiso~

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