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Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. Body mass index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults. It is defined as a person's weight in kilograms divided by the square of his height in meters (kg/m2).

The WHO define overweight as a BMI greater than or equal to 25. Overweight and obesity are the fifth leading risk for global deaths. At least 2.8 million adults die each year as a result of being overweight or obese. In addition, 44% of the diabetes burden, 23% of the ischemic heart disease burden and between 7% and 41% of certain cancer burdens are attributable to overweight and obesity. More than 1.4 billion adults, 20 and older, were overweight.

The FNRI survey is done every five years, and the latest one, released in 2008, shows that Filipinos are becoming increasingly at risk for so-called lifestyle diseases like hypertension and diabetes. Such diseases also increase the risk of related complications like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and others.

According to the survey data, while one out of 10 Filipino adults still have chronic energy deficiency (CED, a term referring to the state of being undernourished), there is also the other end of the extreme: three out of 10 Filipinos are overweight. The most number of overweight adults was found among those aged 30 to 59. Within this group, adults in their 40s had the most cases of overweight.

According to the World Health Organization, over nutrition is a problem not only in developed nations but also in developing nations like the Philippines. The WHO says that “overweight is an essential risk factor for non-communicable diseases” and that being overweight or obese are associated with an “increased risk of non-communicable diseases such as ischemic heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and hypertension.”

The fundamental cause of obesity and overweight is an energy...
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