Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The proportion of malnourished children is reducing remarkably but the ratio of childhood obesity is on the rise, according to the Ministry of Health’s Department of Preventive Medicine.

A recent survey on over 3,000 children at primary schools in Hanoi showed that 23.4 percent of them were overweight and 17.3 percent were obese.

Only 2.4 percent were shorter than the average height and 2 percent were underweight.

Another survey conducted in 2013 on 2,375 children aged 4-9 years at kindergartens and primary schools in the city’s Hoan Kiem district indicated that the overweight and obese rate was 39.9 percent; more boys were obese than girls.

Among over 150 overweighed and obese children, 15.3 percent of them have high cholesterol levels. As much as 82.7 percent of those children were physically inactive for over 120 minutes per day, while 18.7 percent consumed more calories than recommendations.

In Ho Chi Minh City, within seven years from 2002 to 2009, the rate of overweight and obese grade-schoolers increased by three to four times.

Head of the department Tran Dac Phu said the heath sector should build a proper strategy to prevent obesity among children and implement effectively the national strategy of preventing non-communicable diseases in 2015-2025.

A healthy diet along with increasing physical activities is needed to prevent obesity among children, he said, adding that other sectors, especially the educational sector should involve in the work.-VNA