Lokuruka, M. N. I.
January 2013
African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition & Development;Jan2013, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p7088
Academic Journal
Although obesity is a global epidemic that affects every socio-economic class, little is available in the literature on the status of the syndrome in Africa. This literature review was therefore written in order to highlight the causes, effects and potential mitigation measures of the syndrome with particular interest on the status of the condition in Africa. Obesity results from an incorrect energy balance leading to an increased store of energy, mainly as fat. The major factors that contribute to obesity include over-nutrition, physical inactivity, change of dietary habits, modernization, consumption of high fat, high carbohydrate foods, urbanization and in a minority of patients a physical condition or metabolic disturbance. Body mass index (BMI) is currently being used by competent authorities as an index of obesity. BMI differentiates classes of obesity, with class I, II and III being identified with BMI of ⩾30 but <35, ⩾35 but <40, and ⩾40, respectively. A BMI of 18.5-25 is regarded as normal. However, it is sometimes difficult to differentiate obesity due to excess fat deposition and that due to muscle atrophy. Also, current procedures for estimating body fat percentage are not as accurate as they should and often give different results. Despite women tending to be more obese than men, they are less prone to hypertension, heart disease and type 2 diabetes than men before they reach menopause due to their fat deposition being predominantly sub-cutaneous rather than abdominal. In 2010, the WHO estimated that about 1.4 billion adults were overweight and obese, but 300-400 million were obese. The defining metabolic changes in obesity are decreased glucose tolerance, decreased sensitivity to insulin, hyperinsulinemia and reduced life expectancy. Obesity can be treated by restricting food intake and engaging in regular physical exercises. Other measures include the use of anorectic drugs and various forms of jejunoileostomy. Obesity is a controllable behavioural disorder, with regular exercise and sensible eating being the best ways to regulate body fat percentage and maintain a healthy body weight. As it is difficult to treat obesity, efforts should be directed towards prevention in order to keep it in check.


Related Articles

  • Group seeks sponsors for eating disorders prevention curriculum.  // New Hampshire Business Review;08/01/97, Vol. 19 Issue 17, p20 

    Focuses on the nonprofit BODI SENSE's plans to launch `Teen Body Talk,' a documentary video to educate schoolchildren and teens about eating disorders. Acronym for Building Openness, Diversity, Individuality, Self Empowerment, Nourishment and self-esteem; Grant from the Maine Women's Fund;...

  • COALITION OF THE SLIMMING.  // New Scientist;11/11/2006, Vol. 192 Issue 2577, p7 

    The article reports on the introduction of the world's first international charter in Istanbul, Turkey for preventing obesity in Europe. According to Francesco Branca, the World Health Organization's European adviser, obesity in children needs to be immediately tackled. The charter will...

  • Obesity prevention in children and adolescents - Current recommendations. Binkiewicz-Glińska, Anna; Bakuła, Stanisław; Kusiak-Kaczmarek, Małgorzata; Kowalski, Ireneusz M.; Zaborowska-Sapeta, Katarzyna; Protasiewicz-Fałdowska, Halina; Raistenslzis, Juozas; Grzegorzewski, Waldemar; Micińzi, Jan; Białkowska, Magdalena // Polish Annals of Medicine / Rocznik Medyczny;Aug-Dec2012, Vol. 19 Issue 2, p158 

    Introduction: The epidemic of obesity in children and adolescents is one of the major problems of 21st century society. About 70-80% of young people diagnosed with obesity in adolescence will become obese adults. In Poland, an excess of body weight affects every 7th teenager aged 13-15 (13.3%)....

  • EVIDENCE FOR ATTENUATED AFFECTIVE PROCESSING IN OBESITY. Wagener, Ingo; Wawrzyniak, Astrid; Imbierowicz, Katrin; Conrad, Rupert; Musch, Jochen; Geiser, Franziska; Wermter, Florentine; Liedtke, Reinhard // Psychological Reports;Aug2008, Vol. 103 Issue 1, p35 

    Attenuated affective processing is hypothesized to play a role in the development and maintenance of obesity. Using an affective priming task measuring automatic affective processing of verbal stimuli, a group of 30 obese participants in a weight-loss program at the Psychosomatic University...

  • Overweight, obesity and eating disorders in adolescents-a socio-somatic reaction to social change? von Kardorff, Ernst; Ohlbrecht, Heike // Journal of Public Health (09431853);Dec2008, Vol. 16 Issue 6, p429 

    Epidemiological studies show a considerable secular increase in obesity, especially in adolescents. Most studies prefer an individualistic explanation of the facts, thereby overlooking the evidence for social change as an important agent in the development of overweight and eating disorders....

  • Gıda Bağıml&305;lığı. Öncü, Gülay; Karakaya, Sibel // Academic Food Journal / Akademik GIDA;oca-mar2013, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p97 

    Obesity is one of the most important health problems in developed and developing countries nowadays. The increasing prevalence of obesity has pioneered research about preventing obesity and investigation of the cause of obesity worldwide. Besides genetic and environmental factors, nutrition...

  • The Growth Pattern among Elementary School Students in Kermanshah, Iran. Aazami, Mohammad; Akbari, Mojtaba; Bahram Heshmati; Alikhani, Madineh // Journal of Isfahan Medical School;5/21/2012, Vol. 30 Issue 181, p1 

    Background: The aim of the present study was to assess the growth pattern (obesity, overweight, and thinness) among 6 to11 year-old schoolchildren in Kermanshah, Iran, during 2010. Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed in a randomly selected population of 1400 elementary school...

  • Behind the Headlines: Can obesity be caught like a cold? Baines, Emma // GP: General Practitioner;2/10/2006, p35 

    The article focuses on a research related to the causes of obesity. The obesity epidemic sweeping the nation may not be the result of poor diet and lack of exercise after all, according to media reports that suggest that it could be caused by a virus. The paper reports that U.S. researchers had...

  • Weight-loss Surgery Lowers Risk of Diabetes.  // Women's Health Advisor;Nov2012, Vol. 16 Issue 11, p5 

    The article informs that weight-loss surgery in the patient suffering from obesity-related disorders can lowers the risk of diabetes. According to the researches conducted it has been proved that the bariatric surgery patients are less prone to have diabetes in comparison with the other obese...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics