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Child Obesity Philippines

Posted on November 14, 2020 | No Comments on Child Obesity Philippines

Child obesity in the Philippines is a silent plague. Many children are suffering from obesity especially among middle class families. This can be attributed to many reasons. First off, the problem of obesity in the Philippines is veiled by the prevalence of malnourished children in impoverished rural areas. Because of this, there a perceived wrong conception that malnourishment is the bigger problem than obesity.

Secondly, obesity can be rooted on the Filipino culture. It is a common notion among many locals that a fat child is a healthy child. Some parents also think that a fat child is cute. Still others consider it as a sign of wealth. Unknown to many parents and adults however, obesity poses numerous health risks such as type II diabetes, hypertension, stroke, cancer, metabolic disease, respiratory diseases, liver disease, and coronary heart disease.

Lastly, parents tend to indulge their children with food and sweets. Filipino parents have an inherent predilection to spoil their children with food. Thus, they give them chocolates, processed food, junk food and other fattening food thinking that it is equated with love. This culture is carried and passed on from generation to generation.

There are other reasons for the prevalence of childhood obesity in the Philippines which can ascribe to ineffectiveness of government regulation. For one, the government lacks significant regulatory mechanism to curb or control the promotion of junk food and fast food. Jollibee, the leading fast food in the Philippines and McDonalds effectively and freely targets children. Coke and other fattening sodas even disguise themselves by sponsoring healthy sports activities and programs. While there is an existing policy to that effect, children still have direct access to junk snacks and softdrinks in educational institutions. The only campaign that Filipinos get against junk food and fast food are from the Internet.

Finally, the increasing prevalence of obesity can also be attributed to the sedentary lifestyle in modern society brought about by modern technology particularly television, DVD, computers and video games. Children today are inclined to sit down to get entertained by these new technologies while munching their favourite junk food instead of engaging in some physical activity.

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