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Changing Trends on Caloric Intake and Diet in ASEAN:  What Endangered Their Status?

By Samittra Pornwattanavate, Marc Van der Putten, and Vandita Rajesh

ASEAN ranks lowest for obese adults compared to other regions. However, a gradual rise is observed. In 2014, the ASEAN region ranked second for increasing prevalence of overweight. Although several studies focused on obesity prevalence and diet pattern, few researches examined changing trends in food consumption in ASEAN. This study determined overweight and obesity prevalence trends in ASEAN and identified changes in calories intake and diet. Secondary descriptive analysis was performed using data from WHO 2010-2014 and FAO 1990-2011. ASEAN countries were selected based on available data. Obesity was defined as a BMI of
  30. Overweight increased in all countries along with an increase in obesity. Vietnam had the highest increase in overweight and the lowest increase in obesity with the highest change in caloric intake. Conversely, Brunei Darussalam showed lowest increase in overweight and ranked second for increasing obesity, while ranking lowest for increased caloric intake. Most ASEAN countries showed increased sugar and wheat consumption while rate of rice consumption decreased. Overweight and obesity prevalence increased in all selected countries, affected by increased consumption of sugars and sweeteners, rice, and wheat. Rice consumption in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam decreased, along with a gradual increase in wheat consumption; while Thailand ranked highest for sugar and sweeteners consumption.