Q24N (Prensa Latina) Three out of 10 Panamanian children are obese, a condition that in the case of the adult population has now reached 53 percent, according to statistics from the Ministry of Health.
The source says that in the isthmus nation, as in the rest of the world, obesity tends to be higher in women (21 percent) than men (14 percent) due to lack of exercise and fast food consumption, which means large amounts of calories, fat and carbohydrates.
According to Deputy Health Minister, Miguel Mayo, obesity is the fifth leading cause of death in the country, while it is associated with other conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Figures from the Social Security Fund (CSS) reveal that annually in the country 1, 400 people die because of this evil, which expands as a result of poor diet and physical inactivity, among other factors.
In this regard, Fernando Castañeda, deputy director of Primary Care in CSS, said that the provinces and population centers with the highest incidence of the disease are: Bocas del Toro, Colon, Panama Este, San Miguelito and Panama Metro.
“We need to coordinate global initiatives, such as regulating prices of healthy food or create taxes for those processed or with high sugar content to address this health crisis,’ said Professor Majid Ezzati, lead author of the global study on obesity conducted by Imperial Colleges of London.
The research, in which 700 specialists from several countries, including Panama participated, said that one in 10 men in the world is obese, while in the case of females that relationship is more worrisome because one in seven suffers overweight.
For this research, published in the prestigious scientific journal The Lancet, weight and height of about 200 million adults in 146 countries was documented.
In nearly four decades, the global obesity in men has tripled since it increased from three percent in 1975 to 11 in 2014, while in women the incidence increased from six to 15 percent in the same period, a statement from Imperial College press said.
China and the United States stand out as the nations with most obese population, according to this study.