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Obesity Programs in the Philippines

Obesity is a common yet neglected disease especially among children because of the local culture and common misconception that a tubby child is cute and healthy. Obesity only becomes a concern for adults primarily for aesthetic purposes and not for health reasons.

Obesity is the condition of being overweight based on one’s physical physique particularly the height. There exists a standard weight that corresponds to a specific height. With more and more adults learning the importance of a healthy body, there numerous organizations that hold obesity programs in the Philippines. Among the pioneers in creating obesity programs in the Philippines is the Philippine Association for the Study of Overweight and Obesity which was conceived and founded by Dr. Augusto D. Litonjua. This non profit nongovernmental association pioneered in the prevention and control of obesity through education research and advocacy. Among its greatest contributions included the development of the Filipino Pyramid Food Guide and the Filipino Pyramid Activity Guide. It also regularly holds anti obesity programs such as Whiz Kids Through Fitness, Annual Scientific Conventions, Postgraduate Obesity Courses, Wellness Summer Workshop: Youth Edition, Wellness Summit and Annual Finess Walk.

There are also private organizations that offer obesity programs in the Philippines. One of the foremost organizations included the Cohen’s lifestyle center, which was established in 2009. The organization was essentially inspired by the weight loss program developed by Dr. R. Cohen which is essentially a personalized eating plan that results in fast and safe weight loss. The program creates a personalized eating plan for its clients which will incorporate the type of food that one eats. In this way, eating healthy becomes part of lifestyle.

Finally, another important obesity program was launched by the Philippine government through the Department of Health. Dubbed as Pilipinas Go4Health, this nationwide healthy lifestyle movement program essentially informs and encourages Filipinos to practice a healthy lifestyle. The program essentially has four components namely, Go Smoke-free, which pertains to stopping cigarette smoking, Go Sustansya which involves eating proper meals and avoiding instant meals and fast food restaurants, Go Sigla which invokes citizens to get into regular physical exercise to keep them in shape, and Go Slow sa Tagay, which essentially promotes the avoidance of excessive drinking or alcohol consumption.

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