A mounting problem in the midst of the pandemic and puts people with diabetes and heart disease at higher risk, especially children
The global pandemic has not only impacted the global economy but has worsened the condition of the world’s most vulnerable population. In the Philippines, the increasing rate of overweight and obesity among children has captured the concern of the World Health Organization.
According to WHO, among factors contributing heavily to overweight and obesity include poor diets, inadequate nutrition, and the failing food system. This amounts to potentially higher risks for children in developing non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a young age which are also factors in the body’s lower defense against Covid-19 or survival from it.
The Philippines has not reached its herd immunity hence the population is not yet resistant to the spread of the virus. With many having lost their jobs and are faced with the burden of putting food on the table, families had to contend with less nutritional food that is poorly affecting their children’s health. Not to mention the impact of imposed lockdowns that have restricted physical movement that could otherwise help in maintaining physical fitness, lifestyle change with more time being a couch potato, and the overload of health services that hinders people to seek free medical attention related to weight management.
“Maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet is especially important at this time of a pandemic. To promote and achieve healthy and nutritious diets, sustainable, functional and responsive food systems – borne out of collaborative and multi-sectoral action – are paramount,” emphasized Ms Kati Tanninen, FAO Representative to the Philippines.
Overweight and obesity can be avoided among children and adults. As part of our support for a healthier Philippine population amidst the pandemic, we share some inspiring tips on how to reduce weight, keep the body active, and develop a sound mental state.
We can be creative in finding a space or a workout activity within the limits of our own homes. Try to walk around the house, do bodyweight exercises, follow walking exercises online, or even enjoy a free online dance workout.
Good nutrition does not need to be expensive. Look around your neighborhood and see how much nutrition you can get from malunggay and other leafy greens which can be added to affordable proteins. Remember, the important thing in nutrition is not overindulging in food choices that lack the required nutrients.
Lifestyle changes in the time of the pandemic left us dependent on online food orders and bad choices in canned foods. Prepare your own meals as often as possible so you can control the ingredient you use and the amount of oil and sodium you add to your food.
Set a Healthy Routine
Even when staying mostly at home due to restrictions, you can set a daily routine that includes physical exercises, social connection with friends and families over the internet, discovering new interests or hobbies, or immerse yourself in inspiring free online audiobooks and movies to uplift your mental state.
The intention you set to be healthy could actually save your life and promote a cheerful outlook that can positively affect your whole family.