Thursday, April 18, 2024

Obesity is rising sharply in Africa, new report says

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Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey is an experienced African journalist who has worked with top media brands in Ghana where he is based.

The World Obesity Federation is raising red flags about rising prevalence of obesity in Africa and Asia.

In a report, the Federation said more than four billion people will be obese by 2035. It was particularly worried about rising obesity rates among children.

According to the federation, almost all of the countries expected to see the greatest increases are low or middle-income countries in Africa and Asia.

Reasons include trends in dietary preferences towards more highly processed foods, greater levels of sedentary behaviour and weaker policies to control food supply and marketing.

It also highlighted less well-resourced healthcare services to assist in weight management and health education.

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The report urged governments to act because it predicts that over half of the global population will be classed as obese or overweight by 2035.

The federation says the financial cost of obesity will amount to $4 trillion annually by 2035.

African situation

As at 2022, the bottom 25 in the world based on obesity prevalence only has African and Asian countries.

Ethiopia and Eritrea are the 8th and 10th least obese countries in the world. In the global top 25, we also find 2 African countries: Libya (16th) and Egypt (18th).

The global top 10 consists completely of countries in Ocean. Obesity rates are higher north of the Sahara and in Southern Africa.

In Western Africa, obesity rates are still not very high, but slightly higher than Eastern Africa and the interior.

The most obese country in Africa is Libya, where 32.5% of the population is obese. Egypt comes in second, with 32% of its population being obese.

South Africa is third, with 28.3%.The lowest obesity rates can be found in Ethiopia (4.5%), Eritrea (5%), Madagascar and Uganda (5.3%).

African flag registries exploited by high-risk fishing operators


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