Obesity sky high in Curacao

POSTED: 08/23/13 2:33 PM

WILLEMSTAD – Two out of three adults in Curacao are overweight, almost half of all adults seldom exercise and four out of ten suffer from one or more long illnesses or health problems. That is the result of a national health survey; the report was published on Wednesday.

Men are mostly overweight, while obesity is more prevalent among women in Curacao. “The prevalence of obesity in Curacao is with 28.3 percent the highest after the United States,” researcher Soraya Verstraeten writes it the report.

The Public Health Institute of Curacao (VIC) conducted the survey for the Ministry of Public Health. The institute presented the results on Tuesday to Minister Ben Whiteman.

Diabetes is also a huge problem in Curacao. The survey found that 9.3 percent of adults suffer from this condition. This is, after the United States, also the highest in the world.

The researchers queried 3,000 adults about their lifestyle. One of the questions was about physical exercise. Almost half of the participants in the survey said that in the seven days prior to the interview they did not exercise at all.

A remarkable outcome is that almost half of the participants said they ate fruit or vegetables every day. But a sturdy 27/1 percent has fruit less than once a week or never.

Not surprisingly, fast food is popular: 23.8 percent of adults never consume fast food, but 8 percent consumes it four times or more per week.

Sixteen percent of the participants are smokers, Eleven percent smokes every day, mostly cigarettes. Men smoke more often than women and 75 percent of daily smokers smoke less than ten cigarettes a day. Compared to other countries with a similar western profile, relatively few adults in curacao are smokers, the survey found.

Another remarkable outcome is this one: 62.8 percent of the participants said they had not touched a drop of alcohol during the past year. Men drink more often than women. Excessive drinking occurs among 2.6 percent of the participants. Excessive drinking was defined as more than three glasses of alcohol per day for men and more than two glasses for women. One percent of the participants are chronic alcoholics.

Another 8 percent of the participants said they had been driving after drinking alcohol during the past two months. These are all men with a higher level of education.


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