Over 30 percent of the population in Paraguay is obese and many of them don't even know it, the Ministry of Health said Wednesday.

Dr. Gilda Benítez, of the Center for Diabetes and Obesity, urged people to change their eating habits noting that 30 percent of Paraguay's adult population older than 20-years is obese, according to UltimaHora.com in Paraguay.  The other 20 percent of Paraguay's obese population comes from children and adolescents between 8 and 18-years-old, Benítez said in an interview with Monumental radio 1080 AM.

She also argued the awareness of the extent of the problem is a precondition to finding a solution.

"We need to change our eating habits," Benítez said in a follow-up interview with UltimaHora.com. It is recommended that people eat five (5) servings of fruits and vegetables each day, however, Benítez said that according to a survey,  80 percent of the population does not eat fruit or vegetables.

She spoke of the importance of  the government reaching agreements with fast food resaurants to ensure that they are including healthy alternatives on the menu.

People need to learn how to choose

[Editor's note -- A previous version of this article misstated the percentage of Paraguayans who are considered obese by the country's Ministry of Health. The erroneous number was published in UltimaHora.com.]

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