TASHKENT, April 13 (Xinhua) -- Uzbekistan launched a series of mass events across the country to promote healthy living to prevent obesity and other illnesses.
The Uzbek Health Ministry kicked off the initiative with the event "The Day of Healthy Weight Loss" on Saturday in the capital Tashkent where participants walked or cycled for five kilometers, according to the ministry's press service said.
Employees of the health ministry and other public organizations set an example by actively participating in the events across the country, according to the ministry.
"A healthy lifestyle is under special attention in Uzbekistan. One of the five initiatives of the president is directly aimed at attracting young people to physical culture and sports, increasing the capacity of the sports facilities," Alisher Shadmanov, Uzbek health minister was quoted as saying.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev last December issued a decree on measures to prevent infectious diseases, support healthy living and increase physical activity following research that said unhealthy lifestyle was a reason for the most serious illnesses in the country.
The survey conducted in 2014-2015 found that half of Uzbekistan's 33-million people is overweight, every fifth adult suffers from obesity, and more than 46 percent have high cholesterol, according to local media.