Obesity rate for 2nd graders up to 10 percent in Turkey: Health minister
ANKARA – Meltem Özgenç
Speaking during 2018 budget discussions in the parliament, Demircan said the obesity rate for people above the age of 19 increased from 30 percent to 32 percent over the same period.
“Mexico is first and Turkey is second in terms of diabetes prevalence among OECD countries for the age group of above 20. This represents a very big danger. We aim to stop the upward trend in diabetes by 2025,” Demircan said.
He also touched on an apparent upward trend in cigarette use in Turkey, despite previous falls in the smoking rate.
“The percentage of people aged 15 and above using tobacco had fallen to 26.8 percent in 2012. But this rate increased to 32.5 percent in 2014,” Demircan said.
Despite government measures pushed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to combat births by caesarean section, the number of such births has also been increasing in Turkey.
“The number of birth rates via caesarean section is gradually increasing. This rate, which was 50.4 percent in 2013, increased to 53.1 percent in 2016. The rate of deliveries by caesarean section is higher at private hospitals that it is at public hospitals,” Demircan said.
On average, a person in Turkey visits a doctor 8.6 times per year, he also stated, adding that medicine usage is also on the increase but antibiotics use is decreasing.
“In 2017, a total of 25 billion Turkish Liras has been spent on medicine. Thanks to our Smart Antibiotics Usage work, we managed to reduce the rate of [medical] prescriptions including antibiotics from 34.9 percent to 29.5 percent in 2016,” Demircan said.
According to health statistics published in 2015, Turkey is the country with the highest antibiotics use in the OECD. The figures prompted concerns about growing antibiotic resistance and overuse.