Health identity cards to be issued for students

April 8, 2022 - 17:23

TEHRAN – The Ministry of Education plans to issue health certificates for students under a scheme called Pak (literally meaning clean), aiming to monitor and control obesity, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

The scheme monitors health changes in students during the school year according to schedule, and in a specific period of time, sports and health credentials are provided for them to control obesity and inactivity rate of each, and to increase their physical activity, the deputy minister Sadegh Sattarifard explained.

Unfortunately, one in three students is now overweight and one in four students is obese. This means that currently, about 34 percent of male students are overweight, and this figure is about 31 percent for girls, he lamented, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic as a factor exacerbating the problem.

Out of a population of 13 million Iranian students, 4,963 are overweight, IRIB reported on Friday.

Obesity is due to a change in diet and consumption of high-energy foods with low nutritional value, snacks high in sugar, salt, and fat, insufficient consumption of fiber-rich foods, and on the other hand, reduced physical activity, and stress.

Adverse effects of obesity in childhood and adolescence include an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, hyperlipidemia, fatty liver, hypertension, asthma, respiratory problems, and cardiovascular disease.

A study on the non-communicable diseases and their risk factors conducted in the Iranian calendar year of 1395 (March 2016-March 2017), shows that 11.9 percent of the population suffers from diabetes, 27.9 percent have high triglycerides and the prevalence of hypertension in Iran is 26.4 percent that is caused by high salt intake, Shahram Rafiei-Far, head of education and promotion affairs at the Ministry of Health said in October 2019.

Some 10.4 percent of Iranians consume a high amount of salt, which will increase hypertension, and myocardial infarction, he said, adding, by reducing salt intake to less than 5 grams a day, the risk of stroke can be reduced to one third in society, he stated.

Also, the results of the survey showed that 56.3 percent of the people are physically inactive, while 22.7 percent are suffering from obesity, he noted.

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