Childhood Obesity In Africa

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According to the latest estimates by World Health Organization (WHO) about 2 billion adults are overweight globally and over 600 million of these are obese. 42 million of infants and young children are overweight or obese. Studies proved that 70% obese youths between ages 5-17 years had one risk factor of cardiovascular diseases including increased cholesterol and hypertension, and more chances of pre-diabetic condition, bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and lack of self-esteem and stigmatization. Children with obesity are more likely to be obese on their adulthood, which increases the same risk for many chronic diseases (Centers for disease control and prevention, 2015). Childhood obesity causes many health issues including cardiovascular …show more content…
Almost half of the 42 million overweight children under age 5 lived in Asia and one quarter live in Africa (Centers for disease control and prevention, 2016-1). The overweight children in Africa are almost double in number from 5.4 million in 1990 to 10.6 million in 2014. Overweight is a rising problem of low and middle-income countries even though it was once considered as an issue of developed nations (Centers for disease control and prevention, 2016). In United states, the percentage of children aged 6-11 with obesity raised from 7% in 1980 to 18% in 2012 and adolescents of age 12-19 years from 5% to 21% during the same period of time (Centers for disease control and prevention, 2015). One third of the American children between 2 to 19 are obese or overweight and obesity in children is responsible for the rising healthcare costs which is over $147 billion. As never before in history, the life expectancy in American children is shorter than their parents due to obesity related health issues (Wolfson, Gollust, Niederdeppe, & Barry, 2015). There is a significant drop in obesity from 13.9% to 9.4 % among 2 to 5 years old children in the United States between 2003-2004 and 2013-2014 (Centers for disease control and prevention, 2016). Europe shows the highest percentage of childhood obesity. America is second and Eastern Mediterranean region, Africa and South East Asia takes next …show more content…
The cultural, nutritional, and socioeconomic factors are linked with obesity in different ethnic/race groups. (Zilanawala, et al., 2015). A study conducted among the urban children revealed that the girls were more overweight that boys even though both are in unhealthy weight status (Whitaker, et al., 2013). Gestational diabetes can cause increase in birth weight and can cause obesity in future. Cultural norms of over weight children are considered healthy can add to the problem. Healthy choices for food in early life are vital to being healthy through out the life (World Health Organization, 2016). Hispanic children are more obese compared to other races. The study indicated that increased weight during pregnancy and weight gain during infancy leads to obesity. The researchers also noted that the mothers were less likely to breast feed, start solid food before 4 months, less restricted feeding practices, and toddlers are fed with fast food and sugary drinks. Due to low income, the availability of healthy food choices are very limited and consumption of cheap, unhealthy diet is more likely (Watt, Appel, Roberts, Flores, & Morris,

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