Day 274 of 365


The month of September has been all about sickle cell. During the month, we explored sickle cell in details, demistifyed the myths , expounded the causes among many others.

But in this new month, let us switch gears to another important condition in the worl of NCDs. And so, let us talk about *OBESITY*

Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health.

A crude population measure of obesity is the body mass index (BMI), a person’s weight (in kilograms) divided by the square of his or her height (in metres). A person with a BMI of 30 or more is generally considered obese. A person with a BMI equal to or more than 25 is considered overweight.

Day 275 of 365

Obesity as a disease

obesity is a complex chronic disease for which there are multiple causes.

Genetics are increasingly recognised to be a major contributor to body weight rather than just in rare diseases. Genetics and other biological causes can be further exacerbated by the built environment.

Many people believe that the amount of fat in your body is only determined by what you eat and how much you exercise, but the reality is that is just not the case. The reality is that your body tries to protect its fat stores to maintain your highest weight meaning that managing obesity is a lifelong process.

Day 276 of 365

Facts about obesity

Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975.
In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 650 million were obese.
39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2016, and 13% were obese.
Most of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.
38 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2019.
Over 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 were overweight or obese in 2016.
Obesity is preventable.

Day 277 of 365

*_Did you know this about obesity?_*

1. Obesity is a major health risk. Obesity increases a person’s risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, gallbladder disease, breathing problems, and certain types of cancer.

2. Obesity can negatively affect daily life. Obesity brings with it an increased risk of chronic back pain, sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis, the types of chronic conditions that can make it difficult to climb stairs, get enough exercise, and get a good night’s sleep. The emotional and mental effects of obesity are also significant and can lead to low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and isolation.

3. Obesity can damage a person’s fertility. Carrying excess weight can make it difficult for a woman to become pregnant and for a man to produce adequate amounts of healthy sperm.

4. Obesity is not all about a lack of will power. Although it is true that eating too much can contribute to obesity, there are multiple risk factors. In addition to poor dietary habits and lack of physical activity, genetics and social and cultural factors can also play a role in a person’s becoming obese. Also, some medications and medical problems can make a person more likely to gain excess weight.

Day 278 of 365

Debunking myths on obesity.

Treating obesity is about more than simply losing weight.

Obesity treatment is multi-faceted and involves making changes in eating habits and activity levels. It also involves becoming more educated about the risks of obesity. A doctor needs to investigate potential risks, complications, and underlying health conditions that may require treatment. In some cases, obesity treatment may also require medication or surgery.

Physical activity is the key to preventing obesity.

While there are many reasons why people become obese, lack of physical activity is one of the strongest risk factors and predictors.

‘Fault-free obesity?’

For a small number of obese individuals, there is a clear genetic cause for their weight. Up to 5 percent of extreme obesity starting in childhood can be traced back to mutations in the gene encoding the melanocortin 4 receptor.

Day 279 of 365

Introduction to childhood obesity

Childhood obesity is a complex health issue. It occurs when a child is well above the normal or healthy weight for his or her age and height. The causes of excess weight gain in young people are similar to those in adults, including behavior and genetics. Obesity is also influenced by a person’s community as it can affect the ability to make healthy choices.

Day 280 of 365


Not all children carrying extra pounds are overweight or obese. Some children have larger than average body frames. And children normally carry different amounts of body fat at the various stages of development. So you might not know by how your child looks if weight is a health concern.

The body mass index (BMI), which provides a guideline of weight in relation to height, is the accepted measure of overweight and obesity. Your child’s doctor can use growth charts, the BMI and, if necessary, other tests to help you figure out if your child’s weight could pose health problems.

Published by Stephen Ogweno

a global health practitioner, NCD advocate and mHealth Innovator

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