Obesity in Africa and The Deadly Consequences

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Overweight and obesity, which are abnormal or excessive fat accumulation in the body, are not only dangerous to the health; they have other social consequences.

 Due to the recent increased intake of energy-dense foods, high in fat, globally, we expose ourselves to obesity. Worse still, with the latest technological advancement, human beings have become increasingly inactive. The changing modes of transportation and increasing urbanization do not help minimize obesity, as many rarely move physically. It complicates matters that many have recently changed their diet, preferring unhealthy food.

All these have both health and social repercussions. cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke), have become the leading cause of death in Africa. Diabetes is presently so common in Africa that many regard the sickness as a way of life. Some cancers like breast, ovarian,  prostate, kidney, endometrial,  liver and colon are killing people with alacrity. Other sicknesses such as musculoskeletal disorders, for example, osteoarthritis – a highly disabling degenerative disease of the joints –  are not an exemption.

These sicknesses and health problems come with social challenges as well. Apart from excessive government’ spending on the health care, the labour force is equally affected due to the obesity problems. The potential workforce is drastically reduced. Of course, obesity comes with early deaths. People die young in the hands of obesity, leaving behind young ones with social problems. The government coffer is equally affected due to lack of workers who can contribute to it.

Unless both the government and individuals become very conscious of what they eat, the society will continue to face insurmountable challenges and losses due to obesity.Isn’t it time to act decisively?