Vietnamese people face increasing health risks in society hinh anh 1Deputy Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan discusses health issues at press conference. (Photo: Vietnam+)

Hanoi (VNA) - In Vietnam, every year, there are about 12.5 million people that suffer from high blood pressure, 3.5 million people with diabetes, 2 million people have heart disease and nearly 182,000 new cancer cases are diagnosed, according to statistics of the National Institute of Nutrition.

Currently, despite better economic conditions, Vietnamese people continue to face an increase in health risks.

Speaking at a press conference on the contest "I am healthier and more beautiful" launched by the Health and Life Newspaper (Ministry of Health) with the companionship of Herbalife Nutrition in Hanoi on the morning of August 11, Deputy Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan said that every year, the death rate from non-communicable diseases accounts for 74 percent of all deaths in Vietnam.

The World Health Organization (WHO) also emphasised that lifestyles that do not pay heed to advances in science, improper nutrition and lack of physical activity are the three main causes of the increase in non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

The Vietnamese Government has just approved the National Strategy on Nutrition for the period of 2021-2030 with a vision to 2045, aiming at improving its citizens’ stature and health.

Accordingly, Vietnam sets specific targets for the next ten years on implementing a varied, reasonable and safe food diet for all ages. Particularly, percentage of children of 6-23 months with the healthy diet will reach 80 percent by 2030. The proportion of households with severe and moderate food insecurity will decrease by less than 5% and fall below 20 percent in mountainous areas by 2030.

In addition, the percentage of schools with menus meeting the Ministry of Health’s recommendations on ensuring appropriate nutrition and dietary diversity will reach 90 percent in urban areas and 80 percent in rural areas by 2030.

The strategy set targets to reduce the rate of stunted children under 5 years old to less than 15 percent and under 23 percent in mountainous areas by 2030, while the rate of under-nutrition and underweight children under 5 years old will fall to less than 3 percent by 2030.

The National Strategy on Nutrition for the 2021-2030 period aims to increase the height of Vietnamese youth by 2-2.5cm for men and 1.5-2cm for women. To implement these targets, it is necessary to improve the nutritional diets of mothers, children and adolescents.

Other important tasks set in the strategy are controlling overweight and obesity; preventing chronic diseases; reducing micronutrient deficiency in children, adolescents and women of childbearing age.

Under the plan, it is expected that by 2025, all provinces and cities at risk of being affected by climate change, natural disasters and pandemic will have a response plan, evaluate and implement nutritional interventions to improve people’s quality of life.

In the field of sports, this strategy is expected to create new young talents thanks to their better height and health compared with previous generations. Vietnamese sports are also expected to reach continental and world levels in the near future.

Malnutrition has been mainly blamed for Vietnamese people’s height limitations or short stature compared with their peers in countries in Asia and Europe, according to the National Institute of Nutrition.

The National Nutrition Census 2020 results showed that Vietnamese people gain 4 centimeters in height over last 10 years. Particularly, the average height of men rose to 168.1 centimeters and women to 156.2 centimeters.

The clearest difference in height between Vietnamese people and others is seen in children aged 6-12 months old and 6-11 years.

Nutritional experts affirmed that genetic heredity is not responsible for Vietnamese people’s shortness. Vietnamese children who are born and grow up in Europe are as tall as those in their host country.

Earlier, in 2018, the Vietnamese government launched a nation-wide National Action Plan on Zero Hunger with the goal of lowering malnutrition rates and stunted growth through improved nutrition and sustainable food production.

The US World Population Review in September 2019 ranked the Vietnamese the fourth shortest people in the world, with an average height of 162.1 centimeters, taller only than Indonesians, Filipinos and Bolivians./.