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Over half of Chilean students suffer from overweight and obesity

Santiago de Chile, May 2 (Prensa Latina) Slightly more than half of Chilean students (preschool, elementary and middle school levels) are currently suffering from overweight and obesity, the National Board of School Aid and Scholarships (JUNAEB) reported on Thursday.

According to JUNAEB, it was conducted a study in 5,659 schools, 76.9% of the schools nationwide, which allowed measurements to be taken of 524,274 students.

43.2% of students have normal nutrition; 26.7% are overweight; 17.6% suffer from obesity and six out of every 100 suffer from extreme obesity.

On the other hand, 4.7% are at risk of malnutrition and 1.5% are already malnourished.

Students of Chilean nationality in rural areas in the south of the country, belonging to native peoples and of greater socioeconomic vulnerability, have a higher risk of excess malnutrition.

On the contrary, malnutrition is more present in the northern areas of Chile.

In the Metropolitan Region, 45.6% of students are overweight and obese, and the problem seems to be more severe in the municipalities of La Pintana and Renca.

According to the UN Children’s Fund (UNESCO), excess malnutrition is due to the overconsumption of highly-processed foods with high levels of fat, salt and sweeteners, as well as sugary drinks that are easy to acquire due to their low price.

Plus, physical activity among children and adolescents has also decreased.

Risks for overweight and obese children and young people include diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular or kidney damage.