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Kenyan Women Rank Top 10 in Africa for Being Overweight

November 24, 2017

Kenyan women are among the most overweight in Africa according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The report, which champions for proper diet and psycho-social stimulation right from childhood, ranked Kenya in 9th position in Africa.

Kenya is ranked behind Swaziland, Lesotho, Gabon, Ghana, Mauritania, Comoros, Zimbabwe, and Sao Tome in that particular order.

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

The Africa Nutrition Report indicates that the percentage of women classified as overweight in Africa stands at a median of 23.8 percent.

The range is from 5.7 percent in Ethiopia to 50.6 percent in Swaziland, with Kenya recording 32.8 percent.

The report, released on November 16, also indicates that one in three adult women are overweight and the rate stands at 40 percent.

Kenya was also ranked 23rd (4.1 percent) in Africa where a growing number of children under five years old are overweight. The median prevalence is 4.1 percent.

Countries with the least underweight children are Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Benin, Nigeria, Central African Republic and Eritrea.

WHO regional director Matshidiso Moetit says Africa needs to work harder to avoid the long-term consequences of malnutrition and poor health on children’s future.

Only six countries have an average rate of below 15 per cent, including 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.

“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,” the report released on November 21st states.


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