Taiwanese have lost a total of 1,100 tonnes in a nationwide obesity prevention campaign that was held last year, the Department of Health’s Bureau of Health Promotion announced yesterday.
Department of Health Minister Chiu Wen-ta (邱文達) said that since the beginning of the national weight-loss programs, which ran from January to last month, 720,000 people have participated in the program and the amount of weight lost had surpassed the initial goal of 600 tonnes.
Among the nation’s 22 counties and cities, Taoyuan County had the best results, losing an average of 676kg per 10,000 people, and the most enthusiastic response, 545 participants per 10,000 people.
The bureau worked with local public health departments, hospitals, schools, communities and local enterprises throughout the nation to advise on various weight-loss methods to encourage more people to “eat smart, exercise cheerily and to weigh themselves every day.”
Low-calorie recipes and nutritional facts were introduced in brochures, free fitness programs were held, scales and record-keeping booklets were provided, and several companies gave out cash prizes to encourage people to lose weight.
Bureau statistics show that 67 percent of the participants in the program were overweight or obese, but after attending the program, that percentage dropped to 59.9 percent, Bureau of Health Promotion Director-General Chiou Shu-ti (邱淑媞) said, adding that there were more female than male participants and that the average weight loss of all the participants was 1.5kg.
Following the success of the campaign, the bureau said it would continue to work with local health departments this year to continue the fight against obesity.