Sunday, 3 October 2021

HZJZ: Walking Paths and Parks Equipped With Breastfeeding Benches

ZAGREB, 3 Oct, 2021 - On the occasion of the National Breastfeeding Week, walking paths and parks have been equipped with baby change tables and breastfeeding benches as part of the Healthy Living project to promote and support breastfeeding, the National Public Health Institute (HZJZ) said earlier this week.

Through the Healthy Living project, led by Sanja Musić Milanović, one walking path and one park per county have been equipped with a breastfeeding bench.

In cooperation with the Croatian Association of Breastfeeding Support Groups and the Supermame.hr community, the project has invited citizens to find the breastfeeding benches in their communities and take a step further for the sake of their own health and the health of their child.

"Ensuring adequate and necessary support for breastfeeding is extremely important because it directly affects the development of higher breastfeeding rates in the community," said Dinka Barić, president of the Croatian Association of Breastfeeding Support Groups, which has been promoting the importance of breastfeeding through various programmes for over 20 years.

The National Breastfeeding Week runs from 1 to 7 October.

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Saturday, 2 October 2021

Overweight Croatian Children: Every Third Child Eats Too Much

October 2, 2021 - With every third child having a weight problem, the study finds that the sheer amount of overweight Croatian children is a legitimate concern.

The Dalmatian meat specialty of Pašticada, Zagorje's Štrukli, spicy Slavonian sausages called Kulen... the list goes on and these are just some of the delicious foods Croats traditionally eat. But even outside of tradition, there are loads of contemporary food restaurants, foreign food options (Chinese, Mexican, Arab, Greek and more), not to mention many fast-food chains and even more bakeries. Basically, there's no need to worry about starving in Croatia. And that may also turn into a problem.

As Srednja.hr writes, every third child in Croatia is overweight, meaning there is now a serious concern about overweight Croatian children which needs to be tackled.

This fact was discovered during the ''European Initiative for monitoring childhood obesity in Croatia 2018/2019'' (CroCOSI), conducted by the European Office of the World Health Organisation. It's interesting to note that the research leader for Croatia was none other than Sanja Musić Milanović, the wife of the current Croatian president, Zoran Milanović.

The results of the research were presented last week at the Croatian Public Health Institute (HZJZ). ''Around 35% of Croatian children aged 8 to 9 are overweight, and only 14% of parents are aware of that,'' writes Srednja.hr.

Looking at different regions, the lowest amount of overweight Croatian children can be found in Zagreb (29.7%). While continental Croatia has a higher percentage (36.0%), the Adriatic region holds a record-breaking number, reaching almost 37%.

Gender-wise, Croatian boys have more weight issues than girls do (17.8% / 11.9%).

While this isn't too much of a drastic rise when compared to the research from 2015/2016 (the total percentage was 34.9%), being overweight remains a big problem for Croatia which can lead to serious health risks sooner or later. These issues go deeper than personal health but also result in more pressure being placed on an already burdened healthcare system.

What's interesting, is that this weight problem is more of an issue in rural areas than it is in urban ones, even though you'd think it should be the other way around as rural areas are more in touch with nature and offer more possibilities for recreation. However, urban areas, as a study suggests, have better prevention programmes which advocate for healthy habits and lifestyles.

Additionally, the fact that only 14% of parents are aware that their child has a weight problem also shows problems in understanding of what a good diet actually is among Croats.

''The Health Ministry has recognised the weight issue as a priority area and has started with preparations for making a prevention plan for it. I believe that with the implementation of this action plan, we'll contribute in stopping this negative trend rising on a national level in the years to come,'' commented Health Minister Vili Beroš.

The problem of overweight children and fat-shaming has recently been recognised among Croatian pupils. As TCN wrote, pupils in schools are no longer measured publicly but privately. However, the combat against unhealthy habits among Croatian children for a healthier, more knowledgeable generation is still underway.

Learn more about Croatian food in our TC guide.

 For more about health in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Thursday, 4 March 2021

35% of Eight-Year-Olds in Croatia Overweight

ZAGREB, 4 March (Hina) - As many as 35% of eight-year-olds in Croatia are overweight, shows a survey by the CroCOSI European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative, which was presented on Thursday on the occasion of World Obesity Day by Sanja Musić Milanović, who headed the survey.

Musić Milanović described obesity as one of the biggest public health problems of the 21st century and the common denominator for all leading chronic non-infectious diseases.

"If in the next 30 years we do not reduce the trend of increasing obesity, the average life expectancy will be shorter by three and a half years," she warned, presenting the results of the second round of the survey conducted in 2019.

According to the survey, 33.1% of eight-year-old girls and 37% of boys are overweight.

In the past three years there has not been a significant increase in child obesity in Croatia, as the results for the first round of the survey (2015/2016) indicated that 34.9% of eight-year-olds were overweight while three years later that percentage was 35%. 

The survey also showed that about 57.4% of adults in Croatia have a problem with weight, which is a risk factor for a series of chronic non-infectious diseases.

Musić Milanović underscored that as much as 6.6% of the state budget earmarked for health is spent on diseases caused by obesity.

In Croatia, 67.6% of men are overweight, which makes them the "absolute champions in Europe," she said.

Northerners are the slimmest people, while southerners are the fattest, notably boys in Mediterranean countries, she added.

The presentation was attended by Health Minister Vili Beroš and Education Minister Radovan Fuchs. Beroš said that an action plan was being prepared to tackle the problem of obesity while Fuchs said that an initiative had been launched recently to increase Physical Education classes in schools.

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