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The prevalence of overweight and obese is observed to be higher than the national estimate across all population groups in the 80 highly-urbanized cities (HUCs) in the National Capital Region (NCR),” Dr. Imelda Angeles-Agdeppa, Scientist II, Officer-in-Charge, Office of the Deputy Director and Chief Science Research Specialist of the Department of Science and Technology – Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) said during the Dissemination Forum on the Expanded National Nutrition Survey (ENNS) Year 1 Results at the Dusit Thani Manila on August 20, 2019.

Presented during the Dissemination Forum were initial results of the ENNS conducted in the cities of Manila, Caloocan, San Juan, Quezon “City, Mandaluyong, Makati, Taguig and Las Piñas. Nutrition program coordinators as well as some members of the nutrition council of each city attended the dissemination forum.

Undernutrition particularly underweight, stunting and wasting among children and chronic energy deficiency (CED) among adults still exist in the HUCs but glaring is the result for overweight and obese in all population groups compared with national estimates.

Preschool children
The prevalence for overweight and obese at the national level was 4.0% among preschool children, 0-59 months old, based on the Child Growth Standard (CGS) weight-for-height in San Juan, Mandaluyong, Manila, Makati, Taguig, and Quezon City were significantly higher than the national estimate at 14.09%, 9.4%, 7.9%, 7.8%, 6.6%, and 6.3%, respectively. Las Piñas and Caloocan also had prevalence rates higher than the national estimates but not significantly different.

School-age children
Among school-age children, 5-10 years old, the prevalence of overweight and obese at the national level more than doubled among preschool children at 11.6% or about 1 in every 10 school-age children, based on the World Health Organization (WHO) Growth Reference body mass index (BMI) for-age. The prevalence is even more glaring looking at each of the eight HUCs in NCR and all were significantly higher than the national estimate, except Caloocan. Noteworthy is that about 1 in every 4 school-age children can be found in the cities of Mandaluyong (26.2%) and Makati (24.5%).

Also based on BMI-for-age, about 1 in every 5 adolescents in Makati (23.6%), Mandaluyong (19.7%), Manila (19.2%), San Juan (18.4%), Caloocan (17.6%) and Las Piñas (16.3%) were overweight/obese and these were significantly higher then the national prevalence of 11.6% or 1 in every 10.

Adults and Elderly
At the national level, 28.8% are overweight and 9.6% are obese among adults, 20-59 years old, based on BMI. All the 8 cities in Metro Manila had prevalence of more than 30% prevalence of overweight and 10% obese adults from the ENNS Year 1 results.

Among elderly, 60 years old and above, the prevalence of overweight was 24.7% and obese is 6.3% at the national level. San Juan, Quezon City, Mandaluyong, Manila and Taguig had more than 30% prevalence of overweight among elderly while Caloocan, Makati and Las Pinas have 29.9%, 29.1% and 28.7% prevalence, respectively. The point estimates for the prevalence of obese elderly in the 8 cities in NCR ranged from 7.1% to 14.0%, which are all higher than the national estimates.

Also noted during the dissemination forum was the high proportion of physical inactivity in the 8 citiies in NCR. Representatives from the 8 cities agreed with the results as they noted that this were also what they observed in their areas. They were grateful that they now have data for other nutrition indicators not only for children but all age groups.

In her response, Ms. Milagros Federizo, Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator (RNPC) of the National Nutrition Council (NNC)-National Capital Region, agreed with representatives from different HUCs and encouraged all of them to use the data as concrete evidence in their policy advocacies in their respectives cities.

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