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Obese children to outnumber severely underweight by 2022 – WHO

by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

One in five children is now obese or overweight.

Thin or weak children have long been the enduring image associated with poor nutrition in developing countries, while obesity is considered the curse of rich nations. However, a recent report from the World Health Organization (WHO)showed an obvious shift in this trend.

WHO released a report published in the lancet which shows that obesity rates among five to 19-year-olds Rose Tenfold in the past four decades, from 11 million in 1975 to 124 million in 2016.

In line with the observance of World Obesity Day today, the world agency offers recommendations of policy actions for countries to tackle obesity and overweight in young children.

“These actions are all feasible for all countries to tackle ending obesity and overweight in children. Countries will start at different places, perhaps in the schools, perhaps in the physical activity, perhaps in the public education and awareness and the regulatory and marketing, but all countries can tackle obesity through these six recommendations,” said WHO Program Manager Fiona bull.

The report said that 0.7 percent of children were obese in 1975, compared to 5.6 percent of girls and 7.8 percent of boys in 2016.

If the trend continues, more children and adolescents will be obese than moderately to severely underweight by 2022, according to the analysis of the weight and height measurements of nearly 130 million people – the largest ever epidemiological study, according to WHO.

“Being an overweight child or adolescent means you are more likely to be an overweight adult and it is also more likely to lead to early onset of conditions like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Overweight in childhood and adolescence also causes social psychological problems for the children themselves, more stigmatism, more bullying, less optimal school performance,” said WHO team leader Leanne Riley.

The study showed that there are now 124 million children and adolescents in the world who are obese and an additional 214 million overweight children and adolescent.  — United Nations Multimedia


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Health group pushes proposed bill seeking extensive mental health services

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

MANILA, Philippines — Apart from medicines, psychosocial therapy and training have helped psychiatric patient Bong Jizon.

“Medicine alone is not enough. Kailangan naming ‘yung (we need) psychosocial rehabilitation kasi (because) this is the holistic treatment,” said Jizon who has bipolar disorder.

So far, Bong has gradually developed the confidence to do music and hosting — the two things that he loves most.

A Department of Health and World Health Organization report shows seven Filipinos attempt to commit suicide every day.

Number one cause of this attempt is depression, especially among youth ages 18 to 25.

This prompted a mental health group to push for the approval of the bill that aims to provide the said therapy.

“Hindi lang ito para sa mga taong depressed, wala sa sarili, o mga taong may epilepsy, kundi pati yung mga nakaranas ng di kanais-nais na mga karanasan gaya ng sa bagyo, gaya ng gyera (This is not only for people who are depressed, psychotic, or epileptic. It is also for people who have gone through traumatic experiences such as calamities, and wars),” said Dr. June Lopez of the Philippine Psychiatric Association.

The bill aims to intensify the country’s mental health services.

It also looks to include mental health education in school curriculum from elementary to college level.

“Kasi marami sa atin ang hindi nakakaintindi ano ba ang mental health na yan?  Di ba para sa may topak lang yan… sa mga gusto lamang magpakamatay? Hindi. Iyan ay para sa lahat na maintindihan natin kung anong ibig sabihin ng lusog isip o mental health. At hindi lamang yan para sa mga mayroon nang sintomas,” Dr. Lopez said.

(Translation: Many of us do not understand what mental health is. You might ask: “Isn’t it for the ‘crazy’ people only, for the suicidals?” No. It is for everyone’s benefit to understand what mental health means. And it is not only for people who have symptoms [of mental disorder]. )

The Philippine Psychiatric Association added that even those affected by calamities and war, such as affected residents in Marawi, need psychological intervention or rehabilitation.

“Psychosocial intervention para mapanumbalik ang isip, damdamin at maintindihan ng mga tao kung ano yung mga pinagdaan nilang trauma (to restore their normal way of thinking and feeling and to let people understand the trauma they have been through) ,” Dr. Lopez said.

The bill is slated for the 3rd and final reading at the House of Representatives when the session resumes this month. – Abi Sta. Ines | UNTV News & Rescue

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DOH opens “Quit Line” for Filipinos who wish to stop smoking

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 20th, 2017


MANILA — Quitline is a phone and mobile-centered support service under the Stop Smoke Program of the Department of Health (DOH) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Those who want to join the program can register through their mobile phones by texting “STOPSMOKE” to 09290165364.

They will receive a computer-generated instruction which they need to follow and answer a few questions

After completing the registration, the sender will receive a daily text message from Quitline.

Another way to join the program is by calling  165-364.

A quitter can talk to an operator from the Lung Center who will advise him or her on how to quit smoking.

DOH Sec. Paulyn Ubial said, “This particular strategy has long been proven in other countries so we are evidence based in terms of how we moved the tobacco agenda forward off course it is more successful if it is done in conglomeration with other strategies.”

DOH says, the Quitline will greatly help lessen the number of smokers in the country.

Based on data, 30% of Filipinos quit smoking in 2009, and the figure declined by 6% in 2015.

That 6% is translated to more than 1 million cigarette smokers in the country.

Quitline is free and is operational 24/7.

“Our face to face counseling and services are free in government hospitals, we now have a network in all NCR and hopefully Lung Center will start training other LGU’s as well as DOH hospitals,” Ubial added.

Emer Rojas has quit smoking a few years ago. He admits it is not easy to quit smoking.

But with free services that the government provides, it will now be easier for smokers to quit.

“The success rate of quitters is low but it is much better because we have Quitline, this will help Filipinos quit smoking,” New Vois Association Pres. Emer Rojas said.

The Health Department is aiming to lower the percentage of cigarette smokers in the country by 15% in 2022. – Mon Jocson | UNTV News and Rescue

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DOH plans to ban e-cigarettes in public places

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, June 15th, 2017


MANILA— The Department of Health (DOH) targets to lower the number of youth smokers alongside the launch of the government’s anti-smoking campaign.

The implementation of the Executive Order no. 26 or the Nationwide Smoking Ban will take effect on July 16.

Aside from this, health officials are now studying the possibility of creating an ordinance that would ban the use of vapes or electronic cigarettes.

E-cigarettes are not covered by the EO.

“We are pushing something. We’re still getting the technical assistance from the World Health Organization on how to totally ban E-cigarettes or the so-called vaping in public places,” DOH Sec. Paulyn Jean Ubial said.

“Providing the youth and smokers alternative that the youth and smokers think it is safer but there is no safe level of tobacco exposure,”she added.

The DOH and World Health Organization (WHO) say vape contains 7,000 kinds of chemicals which are also present in cigarettes, and should not be used as an alternative to quit smoking.

Even local government units like Manila are waiting for the release of a national ordinance that would prohibit vaping.

Manila City health officer Benjamin Ison said, “We might have a question of law later. So we are waiting for the National DOH to really help us in coming up with definite rules on vaping.”

“We have no penalties and not like with smoking, we just try to streamline the old ordinances that we have,” he added.

On Wednesday, the DOH visited the F. G. Caldron Elem. School in Manila to warn  students of the dangers of smoking.

With this campaign, the DOH together with DepEd will make rounds at schools to put up posters against the selling of cigarettes outside and near campuses.

“No Smoking Month and we are focused on the youth that the number would no longer increase and they won’t start smoking. Say no to tobacco bes, don’t smoke. It’s disgusting,” said DOH Sec. Paulyn Jean Ubial.

Grade 7 student Cris mark coral said, “Smoking is bad that’s why I’m not trying it.”

Grade 10 student John Carl Geriente said, “It’s difficult to get sick. A cigarette stick is just P3. But when you start smoking, you’ll pay more for your medication for cancer.”

Based on the 2015 Global Youth Tobacco survey, the percentage of Filipino Youth Smokers aged 13 to 15 had increased.

Each year, DOH spends around P188 billion for the treatment of smoking-related ailments.

Meanwhile, the DOH will launch its Quit Line on June 19 for smokers who would like to seek help in quitting smoking. – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News and Rescue

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