Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that his country has an obesity problem that affects 38 percent of the people, and announced the creation of a Subministry of Dietary Production charged with designing Venezuelans' diet, especially for children.

"We're appointing a deputy minister of Dietary Production to design food policies for the nation, because if 20 years ago malnutrition was a problem...now the problem is obesity, a 38 percent rate of obesity," he said Friday during a government event aired obligatorily on all radio and television networks.

From an event with farmers in the central Venezuelan state of Cojedes, Maduro said that this new subministry will design food policies "to educate our children from the time they start school not to eat junk food" and will promote a dietary culture that is "correct, healthy and rich in proteins."

At the event, the president confirmed the heads of Dietary Production, Felix Osorio, and of Agriculture, Yvan Gil, in their new posts, one day after seven ministers of his Cabinet were replaced, notably those of Education, Sports, and Industry.

After telling those attending the meeting that "all" of them were "a little fat," the president asked them to eat healthily because across the country "cardiovascular problems and the problems of diabetes and hypertension have increased, even among young people, people of 30, 35," though he gave no precise numbers. EFE