The Ministry of Health will hand out 50,000 bicycles for free next year according to state-run Anadolu Agency.

The bicycles will be given to local administrations and schools which will then be handed out to the youth in a bid to promote a healthy lifestyle.

This is part of a government project that started a few years ago titled, “Healthy Nutrition and Active Life.”

Since 2015, 352,000 bicycles have been delivered for the use of schoolchildren.

With the project, Turkey is pursuing efforts to comply with a United Nations action plan to fight obesity and other conditions affecting people with lack of physical activity.

Officials say that that a 10 percent reduction in physical inactivity and halting the rising prevalence of obesity and diabetes are the two main requirements that the United Nations action plan is asking from its member countries by 2025.

A series of scientific studies have shown that physical inactivity is the main cause behind almost 25 percent of breast and colon cancer, 27 percent of diabetes and 30 percent of ischemic heart diseases.

The physical inactivity among children is a main concern for health authorities.

The ministry also raises awareness to healthy nutrition at schools and nearly 5,000 schools were certified so far for following the guidelines to promote healthy nutrition.

One in every five people in Turkey suffers from obesity, a report by Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) suggests.

The health report that relied on 2016 figures said that 19.6 percent of the Turkish population was considered obese from a medical standpoint.

Compared to 2014, the prevalence of obesity slightly decreased to 19.6 percent from 19.9 percent. Another report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) also suggested that 1 million people in Turkey are at risk of becoming obese.

Source:  Daily Sabah

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