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Health Ministry using multi-sectoral approach to fight obesity

Published:Tuesday | May 23, 2017 | 12:00 AM

The Ministry of Health says it is leading a multi-sectoral approach to reducing the number of persons suffering from obesity.

Known as a silent killer, obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat accumulates to the extent that it negatively impacts a person's overall health.

The 2007-2008 Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Survey II, conducted by the National Health Fund (NHF) and the University of the West Indies (UWI), indicates that the prevalence of obesity in Jamaica is increasing.

It says obesity is the cause of many Non-Communicable Diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, which affects some 150,000 Jamaicans.

Other chronic illnesses arising from obesity are heart disease, stroke, cancers, infertility and osteoarthritis.

The survey shows that obesity and age, coupled with poor lifestyle habits, are linked to increased rates of hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol in both males and females.