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PIA Press Release

Above-normal weight and obesity: Emerging nutrition problems

by Michael E. Serafico

Butuan City (13 October) -- Results of the 2008 National Nutrition Survey by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) revealed a significant increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity among Filipino adults.

Although prevalence of chronic energy deficiency (CED), a measure of undernutrition among adults, decreased significantly from 12.3% in 2003 to 11.6% in 2008, prevalence of overweight and obesity significantly increased by 2.6 percentage points.

The increasing number of overweight and obese Filipinos, besides genetic inheritance, may be blamed on sedentary lifestyle, skipping breakfast, snacking, frequent eating, larger portion sizes of food, frequent visits to fast food chains and restaurants, and often, just pure laziness.

Overweight and obese individuals are particularly at risk of suffering from societal pressure. Moreover, these people may suffer related diseases like cancer, heart diseases and type 2 diabetes.

In some countries, multi-sectoral approaches to tackle the problem on obesity are being organized. This would involve governmental policies on health, agriculture, education, science and technology, transport and urban planning and a range of different stakeholders across national, regional and local levels cooperating to find viable solutions.

Since overweight and obesity result from an imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure, personal responsibility may be the most effective solution. However, organization of peer groups, information campaigns and conduct of healthy lifestyle programs will be of great help.

As the lead agency in nutrition-related researches in the country, FNRI-DOST has its own share in overweight and obesity management.

The Nutrition Science and Technology Division of the FNRI-DOST provides consultation services to improve the health and well-being of clients through the provision of high quality diet counseling. The team is composed of highly experienced and competent nutritionists and dietitians. Counseling is done by appointment.

For more information on food and nutrition, contact: Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City, Tel./Fax: 8372934, 8373164; e-mail: or; FNRI website: (FNRI-DOST S&T Media Service) [top]

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