Uzbekistan identifies priority actions for tackling childhood obesity


Participants working in groups during workshop on childhood obesity, Tashkent, 8-10 October 2012.

A wide range of stakeholders attended a three-day national workshop in Tashkent on 8–10 October 2012 to develop national action plans for the prevention of childhood obesity. Twenty participants from the fields of health, public education, community, sports and physical activity, food production, research and science worked with WHO experts in setting priority actions and identifying the roles and responsibilities of the different sectors. Their work was guided by a set of tools for Member States in the WHO guide: Prioritizing areas for action in the field of population-based prevention of childhood obesity.

After a broad review of the problem of childhood obesity and feasible and effective strategies that can be implemented to reduce prevalence, draft action plans were developed at population level. The main problem areas identified were high-fat diets, increased consumption of high-sugar carbonated drinks and increased screen time leading to decreased physical activity. The working group identified priority actions to tackle each of the areas.

Under the auspices of Uzbekistan's Ministry of Health, discussions on a national strategy will be initiated in connection with the existing noncommunicable diseases and nutrition policies. 

The meeting was organized by WHO/Europe and the Ministry of Health with the support of WHO headquarters. Participants included representatives from the ministries of health, education, culture and sports, motherhood and childhood protection and from the medical academy, the broadcasting agency, the manufacturing laboratory responsible for flour fortification, the post-graduate training institute, the United Nations Children's Fund, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, and nongovernmental organizations working with families, women and the youth movement. A representative from Kazakhstan was also in attendance to observe the process.