Research center on obesity sought

Manila Reporter

MANILA — Ilongga senator Miriam Defensor–Santiago wants the government to create a research center on obesity.

The Obesity Prevention Research Center should determine methods or alternative methods for the treatment and prevention of obesity, Santiago said in filing Senate Bill (SB) 2345.

“As overweight and obesity pose health problems to the country, people need to be informed of the risks, prevention and treatment before productivity will be hampered by poor health and loss of life,” she said.

The research center shall be under the Department of Health (DOH).

Fourteen percent of Filipinos aged 20 years old and above are overweight, a survey by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology, the legislator said.

Close to 3 percent are obese, according to the survey.

Obesity-related conditions include diabetes mellitus, stroke, coronary artery disease, and kidney and gallbladder disorders, said Dr. Gary Sy, a gerontology and geriatrics specialist.

“If you are more than 40 percent overweight, you are twice as likely to die of coronary artery disease compared to a person who is not overweight,” Sy said.

Section 4 of SB 2345 provides that the DOH will fund the research center from gifts, grants and donations from individuals, private organizations, foundations, or any government unit.

The bill is also known as the “Obesity Prevention Act.”/PN