More than 50% of PNP personnel overweight

June 12, 2012

PHILIPPINES – Personnel at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame could work some fat off. According to figures from PNP Health Service, more than half or 3,283 officers and workers at the PNP headquarters are overweight, while 588 are obese. There are 6,253 members of the PNP stationed at Camp Crame from a workforce of about 140,000 nationwide.

Comparatively, 2,376 PNP workers at the camp have normal weights, with only six below their ideal weight, according to figures provided by Senior Supt. Ma. Angela Manas Vidal, director of the Health Service.

An overweight adult has a body mass index (BMI) — a measure of body fat calculated based on one’s weight and height—of between 25 and 29.9 while an obese adult has a BMI of 30 and above.

In a May 23 memorandum to PNP personnel, Vidal stressed the importance of proper diet and exercise among the police force, noting that “one person every 20 seconds suffers from heart attack and over 1.5 million people per year undergo heart surgery.”

High cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, physical inactivity were cited by Vidal as risk factors. Considering the nature of their jobs, it is especially important for policemen to be physically fit. She said many police officers are exposed to harsh conditions every day, making it all the more important for them to engage in physical activities to improve their health.

“The work of a policeman is more physical [than most other jobs]. Those on patrol beats need to walk all the time, so they can’t afford to be heavy. Those who are overweight can’t chase criminals if they’re too heavy or too weak,” she said.

On June 8, the PNP Health Service launched a weight loss program in cooperation with Herbalife International Philippines, which sought to engage participants in a campaign to improve their health over just eight weeks.

The program provides lectures on topics such as calories and exercise, healthy breakfasts, metabolism, proteins and fats. The participants are given the leeway to lose fat their own way. The challenger with the biggest weight loss after eight weeks will win P20,000 in cash.

Fifty-two PNP members signed up, five of them with ranks ranging from inspector to superintendent, 21 noncommissioned officers and 26 non-uniformed workers. But only 15 are expected to actually finish the program, Vidal said.

She added that there were everyday activities at Camp Crame that could help a police officer keep the inches off.

“Tuesdays and Thursdays are aerobics and athletics days. So during these days you either join aerobics or play basketball or your favorite sport, just to get some exercise. Or you can just walk around the oval or the grandstand,” she said.

Category: Community

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