If you notice a breast lump…
October 23, 2015
Top 10 Sleeping disoders
October 29, 2015

The expanding waistlines in Nairobi

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of diseaseor infirmity. This definition has not been amended since 1948, but the state of health of Nairobians has gone through immense changes over the years.

Physical health is the easiest to appreciate, presenting in all manner of appearances. One only needs to wander into the city streets to get a good impression of the ungodly state of our health. Obesity is on the rise and spans all socio-economic groups, not just the upper income group.

A report by the African Population and Health Research Centre some years back showed rising trends of obesity in slum dwellers as much as in the wealthier. Paradoxically, similar research from several African countries showed obesity rates among the poorest urban women was seven times higher than their richest counterparts!

Granted, under-nutrition is more of a problem with the low socio-economic group.Majority live on less than two US dollars a day.But how can their obesity be explained? Rapid urbanization and westernization does not just affect the rich, the poor also get trapped in unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles.

There is less consumption of fruits and vegetables (they are more expensive); more smoking and excess alcohol consumption; all combined with less physical activity. It’s easier to comprehend how the rich get obese; they have more cash to splash out on junk food and drink, choosing to digest the intake in sedentary coziness.

So what’s wrong with being overweight?Lots is the answer; the increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, stroke and certain cancers is just a tip of the iceberg. The strain on health budgets tackling obesity-associated diseases alone is mind boggling, and can only get worse. Globesity, a term that has been coined to describe the escalating global epidemic of the overweight and obese, has unfortunately not left Nairobi excluded. It’s a detestable club to be in.

But we can do better than being members of unenviable obesity clubs. Otherwise the recent announcement by the Governor of Nairobi about the billions of shillings earmarked to improve the state of Nairobi’s health will all be channeled to our waistlines! Public education and awareness about healthier lifestyles, good diets and physical activity is a good starting point.

Our schools can ingrain the dangers of obesity into our growing children. Nairobi County can spearhead policies and laws that promote affordability and availability of healthier foods; controlled marketing of caloric and fat-filled junk; and better city planning to cater for physical activity for Nairobians.

A waistline that matches an individual’s height and weight is the ideal. Anything else portends ill-health, the bigger the waistline the closer the beckoning to a premature over-sized grave. Be wary.

Take a fertility test today

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. This definition has not been amended since 1948, but the state of health of Nairobians has gone through immense changes over the years.

Physical health is the easiest to appreciate, presenting in all manner of appearances. One only needs to wander into the city streets to get a good impression of the ungodly state of our health. Obesity is on the rise and spans all socio-economic groups, not just the upper income group.

Comments are closed.

error: