'I eat fast food every day,' say 13% of Kazakhstani children01 april 2015, 01:00
Prevention is better than cure, says conventional wisdom. In the same manner, the Ministry of Healthcare and Social Development has decided to take one of the biggest social problems - obesity among children - in Kazakhstan under a strict control.
In September 2014, the Ministry conducted a series of conferences and seminars to outline the preventative measures plan.
Indeed, the recent sociological survey conducted by the National Center dealing with problems of healthy lifestyle shows the extent of unhealthy eating habits among Kazakhstani children.
According to the survey, 13.7% of children from cities and 13.3% of children from the countryside eat fast food every day. Meanwhile, 25.5% of city kids and 22.7% of countryside kids drink soda and energy drinks every day.
To address the problem, the Ministry launches the Rational Eating Habits as the Basis for Strong Health campaign from April 1 to 10 in all the regions of Kazakhstan. The campaign aims to re-organize food services in schools.
The Ministry of Healthcare will organize a number of round tables and press conferences on quality and safety of school food, advocating hot meals for school kids, discouraging sales of banned certain food products in schools and seminars and trainings for medical employees and cooks to create a well balanced menu for schools.
In 2007, the sales of soft drinks, energy drinks, potato chips and other unhealthy snacks were banned from schools.
These might not be grand steps at tackling obesity and unhealthy eating habits. Yet, these baby steps are very important and hopefully will bear its fruit in a long run.
By Gyuzel Kamalova