Hanoi – The obesity rate has swelled, especially among children under five, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) Deputy Director Le Bach Mai as saying on Friday.
The number of children under five who are overweight or obese reached 6.3 per cent in 2013, an increase of nine times compared to 2000, according to NIN.
In Ho Chi Minh City, this percentage was more than 11 percent, VNA reported.
Meanwhile, the number of overweight and obese adults doubled from 6.6 per cent in 2005 to 13 per cent in 2013.
Poor nutrition was the main cause for the increasing obesity rate, as well as the rapid increase of non-transmitted diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes, Mai said.
Vietnam has nearly five million diabetic patients; the diabetes rate of people aged between 20-79 increased from 1.2 per cent in 1990 to 5.8 per cent in 2013, according to the health ministry.
The NIN will organise a nationwide nutrition week from Oct 16-23, an annual event which aims to raise awareness about preventing malnutrition through the improvement of daily family meals.
During the week, the institute will collaborate with localities to promote knowledge on gardening and husbandry as well as daily nutrition among families, especially in mountainous, remote and natural disaster-prone areas.