“Nutrition-Friendly Schools Certificate” was awarded to the schools within the framework of the “Nutrition-Friendly Schools Initiative” undertaken by the Ministries of Health and National Education in order to fight with obesity.
Principals of 163 schools were awarded certificate aiming to fight with obesity, promote balanced diet and physical activity.
Attending the certificate ceremony, Deputy Minister of Health Prof. Emine Alp Mese stated that “deaths caused by such non-communicable diseases as diabetes, hypertension, chronic heart and lung failure outnumber the deaths caused by communicable diseases. The main reasons are obesity, overweight, unbalanced diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and alcohol consumption. Unbalanced diet and physical inactivity lead to obesity, which eventually causes diabetes, heart diseases and some cancer types.”
Obesity has become a growing problem in Turkey and in the other countries, and for the last 40 years, obesity in children and adolescents increased by more than 10 times. Prof. Alp Mese stated the followings on this:
“According to data of WHO, over 340 million children or adolescents of 5-19 years are either overweight or obese. The figures are not promising for Turkey either. This rate increases up to 25% in primary schools and 30% in secondary schools. Child obesity is very important in that it causes diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases at early ages, which brings about early deaths.”
“School-age period is characterized with rapid physiological, psychological and social development; building of behaviors or habits that may continue lifelong and the highest possibility for receiving information and gaining habits. It is very important to make use of this period to help children or adolescents develop healthy lifestyles. For this purpose, we prepared action plans under the name of “Healthy Diet and Active Life Program” in order to promote balanced diets and physical activity. Nutrition-Friendly Schools Plan is one of these action plans” added Deputy Minister.
The program aims to create environments for healthy nutrition and raise awareness. The researches indicate that students of nutrition-friendly schools are more likely to develop healthier diet preferences.
Following the speeches, 163 principals were presented their certificates.