Monday, October 31, 2016
Brunei - Brunei faces serious children overweight problem
'This means that obesity rises by one percent every year. If this issue is unresolved, every single child in Brunei could potentially be obese in the near future'
Brunei is facing serious children overweight problem, because one in every two children from the age of five is either overweight or obese in the sultanate, Hj Zulkarnain, Brunei's Minister of Health said in a message to mark the World Obesity Day 2016.
Hj Zulkarnain said being overweight and obese have "seemingly become the new normal" among children, and obesity among schoolchildren in Brunei increased to 18 percent in 2014 from 12 percent in 2008, according to a local media report on Saturday.
"This means that obesity rises by one percent every year. If this issue is unresolved, every single child in Brunei could potentially be obese in the near future", the minister said. "As a result of obesity, it is entirely possible that our children may have a shorter life span than their parents."
He said obese children in Brunei are increasingly being diagnosed with a range of health conditions that are mostly seen only in adults. Some examples include Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep disorders such as having breathing difficulty during sleep, known as sleep apnoea.
"It is also worrying that some children have even died at a very young age from heart attacks," the minister added.
With 62 percent of adults in Brunei overweight and obese, the minister said it is a problem that cannot be ignored.
Speaking on the World Obesity Day 2016 theme of "Ending Childhood Obesity", the minister said obesity prevention and treatment require a "whole-of-nation approach" in which policies across all sectors take health into account.
The minister advised members of the public to take action to improve the health of their family and themselves through physical activities or reducing their intake of unhealthy food and drinks.