THE Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday launched its Pilipinas Go4Health program that aims to prevent the prevalence of non-communicable diseases in the country by encouraging Filipinos to engage in a healthy lifestyle.
The Health department said that non-communicable diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and respiratory diseases can be prevented if Filipinos will change their lifestyle.
“These diseases, while highly preventable, are on the rise mainly due to lack of exercise, improper diet, and excessive drinking and smoking,” the DOH said.
The program, according to the Health department, “seeks to encourage Filipinos from all walks of life to commit a healthy lifestyle through physical activity, proper nutrition, and the prevention and cessation of smoking and alcohol consumption.”
Pilipinas Go4Health is a nationwide healthy lifestyle movement that aims to encourage all Filipinos to practice a healthy lifestyle by making a personal commitment to physical activity, proper nutrition, and prevention or cessation of smoking and alcohol intake. It concentrates on four key health habits namely Go Sigla (Physical activity), Go Sustansya (Proper nutrition), Go Smoke-free and Go Slow sa Tagay
“When it comes to their health, Filipinos need to be liberated from misinformation or lack of information, indifference and careless practices and habits.” Health Secretary Enrique Ona said.
Ona said that based on a study conducted by the Health department’s Food and Nutrition Group and the Department of Science and Technology, seven out of 10 Filipinas and one out of 10 Filipinos are obese. He added that what’s more alarming is that four out of 100 Filipino children are overweight even if some of them belong to poor families.
“One of the keys to good health is regular exercise,” Ona said adding that Filipinos should always “eat right” and engage in physical activities at least three to four times a week to reduce the risk of acquiring “heart diseases, stroke, diabetes, obesity, some cancers, and even depression and anxiety.”
Pilipinas Go4Health also focuses on avoiding smoking and moderating alcohol consumption.
“We hold the record of being the number one smoking country in Southeast Asia and one of the top smoking countries in the world based on a study of the World Health Organization [WHO].” Ona said.
The Health chief added that a study revealed that 17.3 million or 23.8 percent of Filipinos aged 15 and above are tobacco users, and added that 58 percent of male and 34.7 percent of female of Filipino high school students are smokers. Another study by the WHO, Ona added, says that Filipinos are the second highest alcohol consumers in Southeast Asia.
“Global Adult Tobacco Survey data show that a number of smokers accessed tobacco when they are very young to make informed choices. By the time they are old enough, they may find it very hard to quit and some may already suffer its consequences,” Ona explained.
Fatima Cielo B. Cancel