Vietnamese are growing faster than ever

By Thuy Quynh   April 16, 2021 | 02:30 am PT
Vietnamese are growing faster than ever
Students gather at a school yard in HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
Vietnamese have grown taller twice as fast over the past decade compared to the 2000-2010 era, a national nutrition report revealed.

From 2010 to 2020, Vietnamese men grew about 3.7 centimeters taller to an average 168.1 centimeters, and women about 1.4 centimeters taller to an average 156.2 centimeters, according to the 2019-2020 nutrition survey report announced by the Ministry of Health on Thursday.

"After 10 years, the height of Vietnamese has immensely changed, especially among males aged 18," said Le Danh Tuyen, director of the National Institute of Nutrition.

The growth rate of Vietnamese over the last decade is about twice as fast compared to the 2010-2020 era. Over that time period, men only grew about 2.1 centimeters taller, while women only grew about 1 centimeter taller. On average, Vietnamese height has increased by about 1.1 centimeters in each decade since 1975, the report said.

Vietnamese have also been consuming more calories over the past decade, eating about 2,023 kcal a day in 2020 compared to 1,925 kcal a day in 2010. Their diets also included more vegetables, fruits and meat, the report stated.

However, obesity rates have been rising too, especially in urban areas. A total 19 percent of children aged 5-19 were considered obese in 2020, compared to 11.5 percent in 2010. Obesity rates in urban areas are measured at around 26.8 percent, while the rate in rural areas is 18.3 percent and mountainous areas 6.9 percent.

Do Xuan Quyen, deputy health minister, said the 2019-2020 report is the most comprehensive national nutrition study to date, with around 22,400 families across 25 cities and provinces surveyed. Its findings would help orient development of a national strategy for the future, Tuyen said.

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