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More than half of Vincentian adults overweight – Report

More than half of Vincentian adults overweight – Report


A survey conducted in 2014 by the Ministry of Health shows that more than half of Vincentian adults are overweight, and more than 60 per cent do not engage in vigorous exercise.

The National Health and Nutrition Survey of Non Communicable Diseases was carried out in St Vincent and the Grenadines{{more}} from November 2013 to April 2014, and was conducted in three phases: socio-demographic and behavioural information; physical measurements including height, weight and blood pressure; and biochemical measurements including blood glucose and cholesterol levels.

A total of 3,513 adults, between the age of 18 and 69, were assessed, and the survey identified alcohol and tobacco consumption, insufficient physical activity, a decrease in fruit and vegetable servings and overweight as being among the risk factors leading up to Non Communicable Diseases (diabetes, high blood pressure, cardio-vascular, cancer, mental illness).

The findings were presented by epidemiologist Dr Rosmond Adams at a two-day non communicable disease strategic and implementation action plan seminar, which began on Wednesday this week, at the Frenches House in Kingstown.

The survey showed that an average total of 54.2 per cent of persons (41.3 per cent male, 67.2 per cent female) had a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 25 kilograms per square metre. Of the total, an average of 26.9 per cent (13.2 per cent male, 40.8 per cent female) was obese, with the average BMI being 26.8 kilogram per square metre.

The survey also revealed that not many Vincentian adults were taking steps to eliminate the excess weight.

According to the research, 60.5 per cent (37.9 per cent male, 82.7 per cent female) of the adults surveyed do not exercise, while 24.4 per cent (12.5 per cent male, 36.1 per cent female) do not perform sufficient physical activity; that is, fewer than 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week.

The survey also showed that on average, men perform 203.6 minutes of exercise per week, while women perform 35.7 minutes.

Alcohol, tobacco, vegetable and fruit consumption were also assessed in the survey, with the study showing an average of 6.9 per cent (12.7 per cent male, 1.3 per cent female) smoke tobacco daily, while 49.0 per cent (66.9 per cent male, 31.4 per cent female) had consumed alcohol in the past 30 days before they were questioned.

On the other hand, the survey revealed that fruits were consumed on average 3.3 days per week, while vegetables were consumed an average of 3.1 days per week.

Adams indicated that the figures made public were not the full content of the survey, and that the entire findings are to be released at a later date.

A similar survey is slated to be conducted in 2019.