National Network of NGOs formed to promote ‘sport for all’

October 21, 2020 - 17:25

TEHRAN – The National Network of Non-Governmental Organizations has been formed to promote sports, especially cycling, athletics, and swimming, in society.

According to IRNA, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Ministry of Sports and Youth and the Federation of Sport for All on Sunday to form the network.

Iranians celebrate physical education and sports week each year on October 18-23, and the first day of the week is called physical education day, which aims at familiarizing the society with the importance and effects of sports in individual and social life, the spread and development of sports at home.

Afshin Mollaei, president of the Federation of Sport for All, said the prevalence of inactivity has reached 56 percent in the country, accounting for 82 percent of all deaths, which will also affect the pandemic.

Health Minister Saeed Namaki said in Late-June that about 87 percent of those who have lost their lives due to COVID-19 in Iran had been diagnosed with obesity and underlying illnesses.

Obesity and overweight have affected about 65 percent of the country’s population, while physical inactivity is the main reason behind, Afshin Ostovar, the Health Ministry’s director for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) said in January 2019.

Physical inactivity leading risk factor for global mortality

According to the World Health Organization, insufficient physical activity is one of the leading risk factors for global mortality, which is on the rise in many countries, adding to the burden of NCDs and affecting general health worldwide. People who are insufficiently active have a 20 percent to 30 percent increased risk of death compared to people who are sufficiently active.

Globally, around 23 percent of adults aged 18 and over were not active enough in 2010 (men 20 percent and women 27 percent). Some 81 percent of adolescents aged 11-17 years were insufficiently physically active in 2010. Adolescent girls were less active than adolescent boys, with 84 percent vs. 78 percent not meeting WHO recommendations.

In high-income countries, 26 percent of men and 35 percent of women were insufficiently physically active, as compared to 12 percent of men and 24 percent of women in low-income countries. Low or decreasing physical activity levels often correspond with a high or rising gross national product.

As per the data revealed by WHO in 2016 more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight and 650 million people were obese. Sadly at least 2.8 million people each year die as a result of being obese or overweight. Globally, 41 million preschool children were overweight in 2016.

In May 2018, Reza Malekzadeh, the deputy health minister, announced that deaths linked with overweight and obesity have seen a twofold increase in Iran between 1990 and 2015.

Out of 372,000 deaths occurred in 1990 some 21,500, nearly 6 percent of the deaths, were weight-related while out of 385,000 deaths in 2015 some 50,000, nearly 13 percent of the deaths, were attributed to overweight and obesity, Malekzadeh said, adding that in 1980 some 2 million people were obese while the number increased 5.5 times in 2015 as about 11 million people are suffering obesity, same goes for people who are overweight; the number jumped from 5 million to 8 million over the same time span.

NCDs kill 300,000 Iranians per year

In February 2019, the health ministry announced that some 300,000 Iranians die of NCDs annually in Iran, which means that one-fourth of the country’s population (standing at 80 million) are overweight or obese which also results in developing NCDs.

Diabetes, non-communicable diseases, is a serious threat to people’s health and is the fifth leading cause of death in the country. Diabetes prevalence is 10 percent in Iran and is high among people aging 50 or more.

Cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke), which were the leading cause of death in 2012, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders (especially osteoarthritis – a highly disabling degenerative disease of the joints), and some cancers (including endometrial, breast, ovarian, prostate, liver, gallbladder, kidney, and colon) are common health consequences of overweight and obesity, WHO warns.

Having too much sugar in the blood for long periods of time can contribute to serious health problems if it's not treated. Hyperglycemia can damage the vessels that supply blood to vital organs, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems.

Moreover, 30 percent of men and 36 percent of women aged 25 to 64 years also have high cholesterol due to overweight and obesity, consuming fast food, and insufficient physical activity.

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