Contrary to previous reports that developed countries like the United States tend to have higher levels of obesity, new studies are showing that Indonesia and America actually have very similar obesity rates, as 67 percent of Jakartans are reportedly either overweight or obese.
Dyah Purnamasari Sulistianingsih, a researcher at the University of Indonesia (UI), said that this percentage came from research she had done on Jakarta citizens in 2006.
“My study also found that 95 percent of women in Jakarta have waist sizes that are above average. Only 5 percent of them have normal-sized stomachs. At the same time, 87 percent of men in Jakarta experience hypertension,” Dyah said on Thursday, as quoted by kompas.com.
These conditions can cause metabolism issues that can lead to diseases like diabetes.
“Men should not have waists wider than 90 centimeters, while women’s aren’t allowed to exceed 80 centimeters,” Dyah said.
Another UI researcher, Dante Saksono Harbuwono, considers the claim that Caucasians are the benchmark for measuring obesity to be outdated and obsolete.
“Obesity has spread beyond European countries,” Dante said.
Furthermore, Indonesia’s rate of obesity is actually higher than European countries like Portugal, Spain and Germany, due to the prevalence of sedentary lifestyles in Indonesia, as well as dietary changes from traditional to fast food diets. (png)