Fat kids in Saigon evidence of the rich-poor divide in Vietnam

By Thi Tran   September 1, 2017 | 03:58 pm GMT+7
Fat kids in Saigon evidence of the rich-poor divide in Vietnam
A girl has breakfast on her father's motorbike on her way to school. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

The obesity rate hit 19 percent among school-age children in the city last year.

Surveys conducted in Saigon have found that children in the city center are more prone to obesity than those living on the outskirts.

A study conducted by the Vietnam National Institute of Nutrition last year found that around six percent of children under five years old in Saigon were undernourished, and the matter was especially serious in rural districts.

The obesity rate hit 19 percent among school-age children in the city last year, according to the the health department.

They found that obesity levels have been increasing faster in downtown areas, where the average income and living standards are higher.

The number of obese Vietnamese children aged from 2 to 19 had stretched to 6.8 percent, according to another study by the University of Washington released in June. 

Across Vietnam, nearly 25 percent of children are undernourished, according to the National Nutrition Institute.

Experts have repeatedly warned of the unhealthy urban lifestyle in Vietnam, where people rarely exercise and eat meals that contain more fat than vegetables.

Four million deaths in 2015 were linked to a Body Mass Index of over 24.5, indicating a person is overweight, according to the World Health Organization.