March 1, 2021

Obesity in Brazil grows 68% and more than half of the population is overweight

In Brazil, a country that has 209.3 million inhabitants, the number of overweight people represented in 2018 55.7% of the population while the number of obese grew by 67.8%, figures that contrast with the improvement of eating habits and the greatest practice of physical exercise.

The data released on Thursday by the Brazilian Ministry of Health show that, compared to 2006, the increase in obesity was 67.8%, reaching 19.8%, while the increase in overweight reached a 30.8%

In that sense, the growth of obesity was greater in the ranges between 25 and 34 years and between 35 and 44 years, with 84.2% and 81.1%, respectively.

Although overweight is more common among men, women are the ones with more cases of obesity, with 20.7% versus 18.7%.

An example of this is the systems analyst André Sakai, 30, who acknowledges being overweight and says he doesn't care much about his eating habits or leading a sedentary life.

"There are days when I like to eat a lot of crap, others something healthier. Some days I have so much work that I don't even remember dinner," he told Efe.

Although she often works from home and frequently eats Japanese rice, beans, vegetables and salads prepared by her mother, foods high in fat and calories, such as chicharrones or hamburgers, are not lacking in her diet.

"I eat what I like, I do not worry so much. You can see from my appearance that I am a little overweight, but since I went through a medical checkup at the beginning of the year and the results were normal, I am not worried," he said the risks of developing diseases, such as diabetes.

Just as Sakai, the 23-year-old financial analyst Larissa Melo, doesn't worry about food either and guarantees that since she left her parents' house she has gained "some kilos" due to bad eating habits and "lack of activity physics ", which is summed up in dancing four days a week and sporadic bike rides.

"I don't recommend my habits because I don't eat well. I have an almost childish diet, I like fast food," he told Efe.

"I think more about the present. I have some stomach problems, but I eat a lot of crap. I shouldn't, but that's what I like. I'm still not worried about the future."

On the other hand, according to the survey, regular consumption of fruits and vegetables grew 15.5% between 2008 and 2018, and went from 20% to 23.1%.

The practice of physical activities in free time (at least 150 minutes per week) also showed an increase of 25.7% between 2009 and 2018, reaching 38.1% of the population.

A reflection of all this is the reduction in diabetes diagnoses, which fell 40% in 2018 compared to 2016.

"There is a great increase in obesity due to the high consumption of ultraprocessed foods, with a lot of fat and sugars. So, the incentive to the consumption of vegetables between children and adults is fundamental. There is a change in behavior and important paradigm in Brazil "Ministry of Health Surveillance Secretary Wanderson Oliveira said in a statement.

Jorge Pretini, 62, works at a real estate agency and assured Efe that he abandoned bad eating habits in 2002, after going through an operation due to heart problems caused by high cholesterol levels.

"My diet has changed radically. I avoid fried foods, fatty foods, alcoholic beverages. Always everything is very moderate, especially at home," he said.

With the help of medicines and new habits, Pretini managed to improve his health and his quality of life, but he emphasizes that the daily run at work is the reason why most Brazilians adopt bad eating habits, and also the reason why which does not practice any type of exercise.

According to data from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) regarding the year of 2016, 59.6% of adults in Latin America suffer from obesity or overweight, especially for Mexico, where this percentage reaches 64.9%, followed Venezuela (63.4%), Chile (63.1%), Uruguay (62.9%) and Argentina (62.7%), while Brazil appears well below the list with 56.5%.

The data presented this Thursday by the Brazilian Ministry of Health are the result of a telephone survey conducted with 52,395 people over 18 in the capitals of the 27 Brazilian states, between February and December 2018.

Ana Paula Chain

. (tagsToTranslate) obesity (t) Brazil (t) grows (t) population (t) overweight

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