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Growing obesity problem in Kazakhstan

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Photo courtesy of espanarusa.com Photo courtesy of espanarusa.com

Obesity in Kazakhstan is becoming a more serious issue year after year. Local nutritionists and scientists are urging Kazakhstanis to reconsider their nutrition philosophy, Tengrinews reports.

Kazakhstani foodie culture is responsible for the growing concerns over obesity. Half of the population older than 15 were reported suffering from obesity. In particular, according to Kazakhstani nutritionists, citizens from northern regions of the country are more inclined towards obesity.

President of Kazakhstan's Nutrition Academy Toregeldy Sharmanov expressed his concerns over the health of Kazakhstanis in relation to the growing obesity problem in the country.

"Obesity paves the way for heart and vascular diseases (...). Further, it increases the risk of getting malignant tumors, diabetes and chronic pulmonary disease," Sharmanov said.

Growing obesity is not only a problem of adults. Natalya Tukalevskaya, Chairperson of the Diabetic Education Fund said that children, too, were affected by poor diet and inactive lifestyle. Tukalevskaya also stressed the diabetes as one of the possible results of obesity, in particular among children. "We no longer call Type 2 Diabetes a diabetes of the elders. Now it is called a diabetes of obese. Our lifestyle has brought us to the fact that there is more type 2 diabetes among young people. 5 years ago in an average Kazakhstani school we did not have a single child with type 2 diabetes, today we have over 100 school kids with this disease. And this number is growing. A nationwide survey made by nutritionists showed that every 10th child in Kazakhstan suffers from excessive weight," Tukalevskaya said via Bnews.kz.

Despite the gruesome statistics of obesity and its consequences, experts note that Kazakhstanis do not show much concern. The culture of food is particularly an issue in the country. The situation is also affected by the older generation that survived long years of food deficit. It seems that imprints of the past have turned into an unspoken rule of "eat until you burst". Besides, the diet of Kazakhstanis includes less and less nutritious products.

Experts advise eating more fruits and vegetables and opting for horse meat. Chicken, rabbit meat and other types of white meat are also healthy. For breakfast, experts advise sticking with grains and cereal without sugar. But most importantly, Kazakhstanis have to give up fast food.    

By Gyuzel Kamalova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina

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