MANILA — The Department of Health on Tuesday raised alarm about an "epidemic" of obesity in the country, which increases the risk of developing non-communicable diseases.
"Ngayon po meron po tayong kumbaga parang kumakalat na epidemya ng obesity," DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a press briefing.
According to the latest survey, she said 1 in 10 Filipino school-age children or 14 percent were overweight.
Meanwhile, about 13 percent or 1 in 10 Filipino adolescents are considered obese, Vergeire said.
The same survey also showed that 3 in 10 lactating mothers and 4 in 10 adults were overweight, she added.
Unhealthy eating habits and the lack of regular physical activity are among factors contributing to the problem of obesity, Vergeire said.
But she noted that obesity is a multifaceted problem that would require multisectoral and comprehensive strategies to prevent and manage effectively and sustainably.
According to the World Health Organization, non-communicable diseases led to an estimated 70 percent of deaths in the Philippines.
Some 511,748 Filipinos succumbed to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in 2019, the United Nation's health agency has said.