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NR # 3241B
Healthy lifestyle office seen to reduce obesity in the country
A lawmaker is calling for the creation of an office on healthy lifestyle to address healthrelated problems like the rising number of overweight and obese cases in the country. Rep. Anthony G. del Rosario (1st District, Davao del Norte) said the Healthy Lifestyle Office as established under House Bill 69 will help ensure that all citizens are educated on various serious health risks that affect the populace. “The rise in obesity and weight-related problems accompanied by the resulting incidence of chronic diseases has created a crisis that burdens the health care infrastructure of our country,” Del Rosario said. The Mindanao solon said the establishment of the Healthy Lifestyle Office is necessary in order to plan, develop and implement a national program for the promotion and support of activities that will make the lifestyle of all Filipinos healthy. Based on the World Health organization (WHO) data, obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally and with at least 2.8 million people dying each year as a result of being overweight or obese. Likewise, the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) 2011survey showed there are 22.3 percent Filipino adults who are overweight while six percent are obese. Under the bill, the Healthy Lifestyle Office or Office, which shall be under the Department of Health (DOH), is mandated to adopt an integrated, comprehensive and community-based response for the prevention and control of chronic, lifestyle-related noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). “Another duty of the Office, among others, is to promote health strategies that will be intensified in order to effect changes that would lead to a significant reduction in mortality and morbidity, ensure and actively pursue complementary accountabilities of all stakeholders in the implementation of an integrated, comprehensive and community-based response to these diseases,’ Del Rosario said. The measure places the Healthy Lifestyle Office under the direct supervision of an Executive Director who shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines from the list of doctors of medicine recommended by the Secretary of Health. Among the functions of the Executive Director include exercising over-all supervision and direction over the implementation of all research and development programs of the Office and in general to supervise and direct the management, operation and administration of the Office. (30)