Every Third Bulgarian Child Is Overweight

Health | March 5, 2024, Tuesday // 15:11|  views

Bulgaria is facing a concerning trend as new data reveals that every third child in the country is overweight, with obesity rates soaring among adolescents. According to data from 2022, the prevalence of obesity among children aged 7 to 19 is alarmingly high, with the most cases identified among seventh-grade students. These findings were shared by Deputy Minister of Health Assoc. Mihail Okoliyski during a press conference held in observance of World Obesity Day.

Okoliyski emphasized that a lack of motivation to maintain a healthy diet and engage in regular exercise is a primary factor contributing to the rise in childhood obesity. To address this growing health crisis, an information campaign titled "Let's talk about obesity" is set to launch in six Bulgarian cities. Organized by the World Federation for the Fight against Obesity, the initiative aims to raise awareness and promote healthy lifestyle habits among young Bulgarians.

The Ministry of Health is also taking steps to integrate health education into the school curriculum, aiming to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to make informed decisions about their well-being. In addition, efforts are being made to provide nutritious meals in kindergartens, with funding for the healthy breakfast program increased for the year 2023.

Professor Teodora Durlenska, chairperson of the Bulgarian Association for the Study of Obesity and Related Diseases, highlighted the severity of obesity as a chronic disease affecting a significant portion of the population. Despite its widespread prevalence, obesity is often not recognized as a disease in Bulgarian society.

Furthermore, the link between excess weight and health complications such as arterial hypertension was underscored by Professor Arman Postajian of the Bulgarian Hypertension League. Preventive measures, including regular health screenings and dietary modifications, are crucial in managing the obesity epidemic and reducing associated risks.

Lidiya Delcheva, chairwoman of the Association of Medical Students in Bulgaria, emphasized the importance of public awareness and collective action in combating obesity. Recognizing obesity as a disease is essential in promoting preventive measures and prioritizing intervention strategies.

The consequences of childhood obesity are far-reaching, with increased risks of developing cardiovascular diseases and other health complications later in life. With Bulgaria ranking among the top ten countries globally with high rates of childhood obesity, urgent measures are needed to address this pressing public health issue.

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Tags: Bulgaria, childhood, obesity, health


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