The STEPS survey conducted by Maldives National University (MNU) in collaboration with Health Protection Agency (HPA) and World Health Organisation (WHO) shows that 50% of Maldivians are overweight.
The survey has shown that half of Maldivians are overweight and sedentary, which leads to serious health problems.
The survey shows that 1 in 4 Maldivians are smokers and the youngest are eight years of age, while 1 in 20 drink alcoholic beverages. It also shows that Maldivians use an alarmingly high amount of salt in their food. As such, Maldivians consume 8.8 grams daily, which is four times higher than the amount recommended by WHO. Increased consumption of salt is known to lead to kidney problems and high blood pressure.
Additionally, 1 in 3 Maldivians have high cholesterol and 1 in 4 have high blood pressure, while 14% of the population suffer from high blood sugar.
Around 3,100 Maldivians aged 15-69 participated in the STEPS survey. The health authorities have expressed concern over the rise in non-communicable diseases, especially in the youth.