Vietnamese diet no longer balanced: Nutritionists

On September 19, the National Institute of Nutrition in Hanoi held a meeting to implement a balanced and nutritional meal plan for Vietnamese people from now until 2020, to make up for shortfalls in nutrition in the modern day diet.

Vietnamese people eat more protein and less vegetable

Dr. Le Danh Tuyen, deputy director of the institute, said that according to a recent study conducted by the Institute, food habits of Vietnamese people have changed noticeably in the last 10 years.

Nowadays, most of the population consumes 66.4 percent of rice, a decrease of nearly 20 percent from 10 years back. Instead, people now consume more of meat, milk and eggs which make up 25 percent of calories in their daily meals, which is believed to be the main cause of obesity and overweight.

Also, now people don’t eat enough green vegetables. In 2010, consumption of green vegetables had dropped to 190 grams per person per day from 214 grams in 1985.

Moreover, today the Vietnamese adult is about 4cm taller and 8 kilogram heavier on an average than in 1975 when the Vietnam War ended.

Urban areas face a serious problem of child obesity, as 5.6 percent of children under the age of five are now overweight, six times more than in 2000, with 2.8 percent suffering from obesity.

Obesity and overweight rates in children under the ages of five in wealthy urban areas like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have reached an alarming 6.5 percent compared to rural areas.

In the meantime, this trend is also affecting adults from 50 to 60 years of age, with 7.8 percent of men from 55 to 59 and 10.9 percent of women from 50 to 55 suffering from overweight or obesity.

By K. Nguyen - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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