Obesity, defined by the WHO as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation, is a disease that leads to life-altering and potentially fatal consequences. It is the gateway to heart disease, many cancers, and diabetes. Six out of 12 obesity-related cancers are rising fastest among the millennial age group.
In the Philippines, 33.2 million individuals live with this disease.One in three adult Filipinos has obesity. These cases are clustered in urban areas, namely Metro and Mega Manila, Cebu and Central Visayas, and Davao and Northern Mindanao.
Filipino society does not handle obesity issues well. Overweight individuals often receive comments like “tumaba ka” or “magpapapayat ka nga.”
These weight-related biases are an example of the stigma that people with obesity face every day, all of which contribute to feelings of depression. This results in individuals with low self-esteem and poor body image, and who are less inclined to find solutions and support.