Parliamentary sub-panel offers 'small proportions' for Gaziantep’s fight against obesity

Parliamentary sub-panel offers 'small proportions' for Gaziantep’s fight against obesity

Umut Erdem – ANKARA
Parliamentary sub-panel offers small proportions for Gaziantep’s fight against obesity

The Turkish Parliament’s subcommittee for the fight against obesity has discussed possible solutions to southeastern Gaziantep province’s above-average obesity rates, offering “small portions” for the cuisine’s tasty dishes.

The parliamentary panel on Dec. 18 addressed the gastronomical haven’s health problems and attempted to find a solution for the Gaziantep people to stay “fit.”

During the discussions, Dr. Nazan Kara, the head of healthy nutrition department in the Health Ministry, conveyed that the rate of obesity in Gaziantep surpasses the Turkey average by almost 5 percent.

“While the Turkey average is 31.5 [percent], it is 36 [percent] for Gaziantep,” she said.

 Karan also underlined that in Turkey the obesity rate of women is 39 percent whereas this figure is 45 percent for the city. 

The same patterns of increase can also be traced in obesity of men. According to the figures the department chief provided, Gaziantep has an almost 4 percent obesity rate of men, when compared with the Turkey average.

“The culture is really good, the food is great, but portions can be scaled down,” Karan suggested.

Gaziantep, considered by many as a culinary paradise in southeastern Anatolia, has been struggling with high rates of obesity, yet is currently taking steps to ameliorate the situation.

Meanwhile, Şeyma Kara, an expert from the Union of Municipalities of Turkey said that Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality has dubbed obesity as the “plague of the new era.”

Kara also conveyed that the municipality has kicked off a project with health directorates. In the scope of the “Turkish Healthy Nutrition and Active Life Program,” officials have distributed informatory booklets and organized seminars.

Furthermore, medical exams were carried out for some 9,530 people, Kara said. She added that 6,880 people out of this figure are being monitored by hospitals.

The Gaziantep Municipality’s employees also went through a health screening, and 161 people, out of 386, have undertaken dietary measures with a meal plan, the expert asserted.

Kara also underlined that since 2016, the municipality has served some 6,880 people in its obesity polyclinic.