The rate of overweight children at nursery and primary schools in Ho Chi Minh has sharply increased.
|Ho Chi Minh City’s school children are becoming increasingly overweight|
According to a survey from the Ho Chi Minh Nutrition Centre, the rate of obese children under five years old in the city was estimated at 2.2% in 1999, with the level reaching nearly 11% in 2010.
The centre also said that during the 2008-2009 period, the rate of malnourished children in local primary schools stood at 1.4%, while the rate of those suffering obesity was up to 28.5%.
A school nurse from the Tuoi Tho Pre-school No.7 in District 3, Le Thi Hieu, said the school has more than 100 obese children. According to her, the school does done nothing to ensure a healthy diet for the children at school.
Truong Ngoc Anh, Head of Pre-school education of Binh Tan District’s Department of Education and Training said many schools should boost the amount of vegetables they grow and develop physical activities for the children. However, current playing ground space remains limited, particularly among non-state schools.
Doctor Do Thi Ngoc Diep from the centre said daily meals were now higher in calories, but children were doing less exercise.
“Nowadays, many children like playing games, using computers and watching TV more than physical exercise. They’re also forced to spend too much time studying which also restricts their physical activity,” she added.
Parents are also mistakenly helping their children grow fat by topping up already sufficient school meals.
According to Tran Thi My Hanh, Vice Headmaster of Anh Sang Pre-school in Binh Thanh District, said many teachers lacked knowledge about obesity prevention.