A number of overweight people in Brazil increases

16 Apr 2012, 05:43
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A number of overweight people in Brazil increases

The proportion of overweight Brazilians are growing, according to the recent figures. If in 2006 there was 42.7% of people with weight problems in Brazil, in 2011 it went up to 48.5%.


The government officials said that the trend could pose a significant threat to national health. However, it was noted that this increase hasn't been associated with the rising of the life level.


It highlighted major programmes to promote healthier eating and increased physical exercise, saying now was the time to confront the problem. The research was based on the telephone survey of 54,000 people from all over the country.


According to results 52.6% males and 44.7% of females have claimed to be overweight. Thus the proportion of people with obesity has increased from 11 to 15.8% in 2011.


It he health ministry said the consumption of high-fat food was a major cause, particularly among men.


But Health Minister Alexandre Padilha rejected the idea that the increase in the proportion of overweight people was linked to Brazil's rising prosperity.


"Eating habits have not changed much over the last six years, it wasn't in this period that people started consuming full-fat milk and fatty meat," he said.


The health ministry says it is working with major food producers to reduce levels of fat in processed food and offer more healthy alternatives. It also highlighted major spending programmes on health education and sport in communities and schools.


"Now is the time to act to ensure we don't reach the levels of countries like the US, where more than 20% of the population is obese," the ministry said.


On a positive note, the study found that the proportion of men who led sedentary lives had fallen from 16% in 2009 to 14% in 2011.


The proportion of Brazilians who smoke has also continued to fall. Being significantly overweight can contribute to a range of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

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