Eat your veggies, exercise, PM advises Vietnamese youth

By Viet Tuan, Phan Anh   March 21, 2019 | 10:27 pm PT
Eat your veggies, exercise, PM advises Vietnamese youth
Men play foot badminton with a shuttlecock in Hanoi. Photo by AFP/Hoang Dinh Nam
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc wants young people to eat more vegetables and walk 10,000 steps every day.

"Each commune should have a football field, a stadium for young people [...] for them to exercise or play volleyball, football," said Phuc at a meeting in Hanoi Wednesday, adding that they should also exercise regularly.

Phuc’s statement comes in the wake of several ministries and governmental institutions exhorting staff as well as the general public to step up physical activity and shun a sedentary lifestyle.

The Ministry of Culture has asked its officials to exercise twice a day, even publicizing instructional videos and allowing officials to choose suitable exercises for daily practice.

The Health Ministry also plans to launch a fitness movement to encourage people to exercise more towards improving health and preventing illnesses.

It has also asked staff to exercise in the middle of meetings, and for subordinate units, hospitals and preventive health centers to do likewise.

Vietnamese consume an average of 200 gram of vegetables per person a day, half the amount recommended by the WHO, according to nutrition surveys.

They are also among the most sedentary in the world, a 2017 study by Stanford University found. It said Vietnamese people walk around 3,600 steps a day, far less than the global average of 5,000 and the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 10,000 steps.

Young people, especially those in the workforce, young adults and children exercise the least, said Bui Thuc Quang, head of the Interventional Cardiology Department from the National Geriatric Hospital.

The country aims at a 10 percent reduction in the number of citizens exercising inadequately by 2025.

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