Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity among Employees of Selected Regional Line Agencies in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Philippines

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Imelda O. Degay


With       the          increasing              trend of overnutrition,          the  implementation of appropriate nutrition action plan that is  based on sound and extensive research data is being  recommended. As part of developing an extensive health profile  in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Philippines, this  study documented the prevalence of protein-energy malnutrition  among the employees of 21 regional line agencies (RLAs) who are  members of the Cordillera Regional Nutrition Committee  (RNC). The study is a descriptive cross-sectional survey done  among 395 permanent government employees. Data gathered  were body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) and  waist-hip ratio (WHR). The employees were healthy, mostly  non-pregnant females (65%) and selected through stratified  random sampling. The mean BMI was 25.8 kg/m2 (males=26.5;  females=25.4) indicating that the employees are generally  overweight. The combined overweight and obesity prevalence  was 56.7% with males registering a higher prevalence of 64%  (n=79) compared to 52.7% (n=135) in females.  The mean WC of 90.7cm for male and 83.7cm for female employees were within  the borderline. WHR was 0.91 for males indicating absence of  abdominal adiposity but 0.86 for females showing risk of  increased metabolic complications. The overall prevalence  of high WC was 26% (13.7% in the males and 32.8% in the  females) while high WHR was 44% (17% males; 59% females).  Exercise and length of service were correlated with BMI  and WC. The high prevalence of overweight and obesity  among the government workers puts them at risk of non- communicable chronic diseases. Appropriate health and  nutrition  policies  and  programs  must  be  instituted  at  once.

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