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WHO Helping in Program to End Childhood Obesity
WHO Helping in Program to End Childhood Obesity

WHO Helping in Program to End Childhood Obesity

The plan focuses on encouraging children to eat healthy foods through supportive policies and interventions that encourage healthy choices, including taxation, marketing and labeling
According to a 2015 study, prevalence of abdominal (central) obesity in children under the age of 5 has more than doubled in 10 years

WHO Helping in Program to End Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is reaching alarming proportions in many countries and poses an urgent and serious challenge. As per official data, in Iran around 21% of urban and 13% of rural children aged 7-18 suffer from obesity.
According to a 2015 study, prevalence of abdominal (central) obesity in children under the age of 5 has more than doubled in 10 years, Zahra Abdollahi, head of the diet and nutrition promotion office at health Ministry told ISNA.
Children with obesity are at higher risk for having chronic health conditions and diseases that impact physical health, such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, type-2 diabetes, and risk factors for heart disease.
The alarming rates have prompted health authorities to prepare a national program to help address the growing problem.
On Tuesday, a meeting was held at the Health Ministry in Tehran in the presence of Dr. Francesco Branca, director of the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development in World Health Organization in Geneva and Dr. Ayoub Al-Jawaldeh regional adviser to the  WHO Nutrition Office.
The newly developed program, IranECHO --Iran’s adaptation of WHO’s Ending Childhood Obesity program--- was discussed in this meeting.  
“The two experts expressed satisfaction over the implementation of the program.  They also made some suggestions to improve the program,” said Zahra Abdollahi.  
She noted that the plan focuses on encouraging children to eat healthy foods through supportive policies and interventions that encourage healthy choices, including taxation, marketing and labeling. It also highlights the importance of enabling children to be more physically active, both at school and during free time.
Best possible methods to add vitamin D to traditional breads and the best way of adding vitamin A to edible oils were among topics discussed during the meeting.  
“With the implementation of the program, Iran could act as a role model for other countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region,” said Branca.
Both WHO officials are in Iran to attend the International Symposium on Public Health Nutrition, which will be held on September 7-8 at Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in Khorasan Razavi Province.
The scientific gathering is organized jointly by UNESCO, WHO and the MUMS, with the aim of strengthening international scientific collaboration in the area and creating a platform for capacity building in basic and life sciences in the Middle-Eastern and Asia-Pacific regions.
Moving towards achievement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 2 (zero hunger), Goal 3 (good health and well-being) and Goal 17 (partnerships for the goals) are among other objectives of the symposium, as reported by the UNESCO website.

 

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