WHO endorses Iran’s obesity prevention program

September 6, 2017

TEHRAN — Officials from the World Health Organization have endorsed Iran’s obesity prevention program which aims to curb overweight and obesity among teenagers and preschoolers.

During a meeting held in Tehran on Tuesday, Dr. Francesco Branca, WHO Director of the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development and Dr. Ayoub Al Jawaldeh, WHO Regional Advisor on Nutrition, explained that the program can be implemented in other Eastern Mediterranean countries as well, ISNA reported. 

Regarding the prevalence of overweight and obesity among Iranian teenagers and preschoolers Iran has drawn up a program containing strategies to prevent obesity in the country, director for Health Ministry nutrition office Zahra Abdollahi said.

The two WHO officials Branca and Al Jawaldeh also made suggestion to make improvements upon the program over the session held yesterday at the ministry, Abdollahi added. 

In a study conducted jointly by the Ministry of Health and universities of medical sciences 20 to 25 percent of the school children are affected by overweight or obesity nationwide. Unfortunately on average 20 percent of the under-two year olds are also suffering overweight and obesity nationwide. 

Branca and Al Jawaldeh will attend Public Health Nutrition International Symposium (September 7-8) in Mashhad, northeastern Khorasan Razavi province.  

As per the study most school children aging 7 to 18 carry abdominal fat caused by consuming too much sweats, fizzy drinks, fruit juices, fast food, deep fried food, lack of movement and not eating healthy food such as fruits, and vegetables, she pointed out. 

Overweight and obese children are likely to stay obese into adulthood and more likely to develop noncommunicable diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a younger age. Overweight and obesity, as well as their related diseases, are largely preventable. Prevention of childhood obesity therefore needs high priority.

MQ/MG

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