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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Washington: Researchers Find Alarming Trends in Overweight and Chronic Disease in Indonesia

More people in Indonesia are overweight than ever before, with particularly worrying trends among rural and poorer populations, according to new research from the University of Washington School of Public Health and partners in Jakarta. To top it off, many adults now have or are at risk for nutrition-related heart disease and diabetes.

These health outcomes are, in part, driven by a shift in diets towards more ultra-processed foods high in sugar, fat and salt – such as instant noodles and fried snacks – and a decline in physical activity. Data from two studies suggest programs and policies are urgently needed in Indonesia to reduce and prevent overweight among people of all ages. The studies also offer strategies to curb an obesity pandemic.

“Several aspects of our results paint an alarming picture of obesity in Indonesia,” said lead author Dr. Vanessa Oddo, acting assistant professor in the Department of Health Services at the School. “Without intervention, increasing obesity prevalence will adversely affect population health and economic development in Indonesia, and obesity is a barrier to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”

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