Taipei City yesterday stepped up its efforts to combat obesity with a citywide weight loss campaign and healthy diet promotions on school campuses.
The campaign, urging residents to make Taipei a true “Healthy City” by exercising more and eating less, has set a goal of losing 101 tonnes citywide.
The city’s Department of Health said more than 40 percent of adults in Taipei were either overweight or obese, adding that seven of the top 10 causes of death in Taiwan were related to obesity, including malignant tumors, heart disease, diabetes and cirrhosis of the liver.
Yu Li-hui (游麗惠), director of the department’s health management office, said participation in the campaign would be free for any resident whose body mass index (BMI) is over 20.
However, pregnant women and residents with a normal BMI would be discouraged from attending the promotional events.
People wanting to lose weight and who are interested in signing up for the activities have until September to sign up online (101.health.gov.tw/news_content.aspx?id=8).
Officials said the anti-obesity campaign would also promote healthy eating on school campuses.
Taipei Deputy Mayor Allen Chiu (邱文祥) told a press conference at Taipei Municipal Wuxing Elementary School yesterday that while elementary schools nationwide offered healthy meals prepared by school nutritionists, many students were still overweight because they ate breakfast or dinner in restaurants or fast-food chain outlets.
“We need to do more to raise awareness among parents, food vendors and fast-food chains, and pay more attention to what our kids are eating,” he said.
A study on students’ eating habits conducted by the school last month found about 60 percent ate out at least once a day.
It also found that more than 83 percent said they did not eat fruit and vegetables every day.
Tsao Ya-chi (曹雅姿), a nutritionist at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, said parents could help their children lose weight by replacing high-calorie breakfasts such as bread and milk tea, with a sandwich or salad, and reduce their children’s consumption of fried foods.
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