"Obesity in Indonesia is increasing at an alarming rate. Basic Health Research (Riskesdas) 2018 shows that the trend of weight problems in adults has almost doubled, from 19.1 percent in 2007 to 35.4 percent in 2018. We need to really suppress this trend of increasing obesity," Director of Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases at the Health Ministry, Dr. Cut Putri Arianie, noted in a statement received by ANTARA here on Thursday.
Although obesity is not taken as seriously as other diseases, it has serious health implications and can be an increasingly expensive financial risk to the country.
With over 800 million obese people globally, the medical consequences of obesity will reach over US$1 trillion by 2025.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines obesity as an abnormal or excessive accumulation of fat that can interfere with health. For Asian people, someone is obese if they have a body mass index (BMI) above 25.
Cut Putri has called on the government to give serious attention to the problem of obesity. The first measure to be conducted is to prepare a case diagnosis at the earliest.
"To reduce obesity rates in Indonesia, case diagnosis as early as possible should be conducted to offer better treatment," Putri noted.
The ministry has developed an Integrated Development Post (Posbindu) and launched the CERDIK program to provide education about healthy living habits.
The program comprised regular health checks and some efforts to prevent cigarette smoking, encourage people to exercise and follow a healthy and balanced diet, as well as get plenty of rest and manage stress.
"We are also promoting the 'Healthy Living Community Movement' (GERMAS). With this action, we expect the obesity rate to be lowered," Putri stated.
On the same occasion, Medical Director of Novo Nordisk Indonesia, Dr. Fahad Jameel, stated that obesity is a grave chronic disease. The community should prioritize handling, so that the disease does not give rise to other ailments and does not create large socio-economic burden.
"As a leading global health company, Novo Nordisk is committed to making obesity a health priority. Changing Obesity is our long-term commitment together with our various partners to improve the quality of life for sufferers by increasing prevention and treatment efforts in the health sector," Fahad remarked.
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EDITED BY INE