WHO: Swaziland women the most overweight in Africa

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Swaziland women are the most overweight in Africa, the WHO has said.

Swaziland, Lesotho, Gabon, Ghana, Mauritania, Comoros, Zimbabwe, Sao Tome and Kenya lead in that order.

The report used data from national surveys of 47 countries dating as far back as 2000 to 2016. The research involved women aged 18 to 49.

The Africa Nutrition Report by the World Health Organization states that the percentage of women classified as overweight in the region stands at a median of 23.8 per cent.

The range is from 5.7 per cent in Ethiopia to 50.6 per cent in Swaziland, Kenya’s being 32.8 per cent.

Sao Tome recorded a 33.7 per cent rate, Zimbabwe 34.9, Comoros 36.3, Mauritania 38.4, Lesotho 44.6,Ghana 40.1 and Gabon 44.1 per cent.

Six countries have a prevalence rate of below 15 per cent. They are Burkina Faso with 11.2 per cent, Burundi with 7.5, Chad at 11.5, Eritrea at 8.9, Ethiopia at 5.7 per cent and Madagascar with 6.3 per cent.

According to the report released on November 16, one in three adult women are overweight and the rate stands at 40 per cent.

It notes: “Obesity is a risk factor for non-communicable diseases and is included among the nine voluntary targets for 2025 in the Global NCD Action Plan.”

WHO says that for overweight mothers, the risk of high birth weight and subsequent childhood overweight is higher for their children.

Kenya was ranked 23rd (4.1 per cent) among 47 countries where a growing number of children under five years old are overweight. The median prevalence is 4.1 per cent.

The report has urged proper diet and psycho-social stimulation right from childhood to prevent obese.

Source: The Star

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