Obesity In Africa: 15 Facts About Obesity You Should Know

According to experts, obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat is accumulated to the extent that it may have a negative effect in health. Obesity is a major health problem, and currently there is an increasing trend of overweight and obese individuals in Africa.

10 Facts About Obesity You Should Know
Obese lady

Image source – Health-e.org.za

Obesity In Africa: 15 Facts About Obesity You Should Know

  • Obesity is defined as an abnormal or excessive accumulation of fat that may impair health and could lead to death, disability, and a lower quality of life.
  • Globally, 925 million people suffer from hunger. Roughly 2.1 billion people are either overweight or obese.
  • In 2013, the highest rates of overweight and obesity were seen in the Middle East and North Africa, where more than 58% of men and 65% of women age 20 or older were found to be either overweight or obese
  • Both obesity and hunger lead to malnourishment. People on both sides of the spectrum suffer from micronutrient malnutrition including vitamin A, iron, or iodine deficiency.
  • People who eat out for breakfast and dinner more than double their risk of becoming obese.
  • Being overweight reduces a woman’s chance of becoming pregnant. According to the National Institutes of Health, obesity is the reason why the fastest growing group of infertile women is under the age of 25.
  • According to a study Conducted by the South African Medical Research Council ( SAMRC), in collaboration with Imperial College London, South africa and Egypt have the highest obesity rates in Africa.
  • In sub-Saharan Africa infact, the highest obesity rates (42%) are seen among South African women. Source – Healthdata.org
  • Obesity and being overweight is the fifth leading risk for global deaths. At least 2.8 million adults die each year as a result of being overweight or obese.

Obesity in Africa

  • Lack of sleep is a huge contributor to obesity. Apparently, Apart from messing up your body’s natural cycles and hormones, the longer you are awake the more you mindlessly you consume junks, especially at night.
  • Being obese makes you nearly 80% more likely to die if you get in a car crash.

Facts about obesity

  • In poor countries e.g countries in Africa, rich and educated people tend to be overweight.. Infact it is seen as a sign of good living.
  • Obesity is very deadly it is associated with major and minor diseases. The major diseases associated with obesity include hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and atherosclerosis, as well as certain types of cancer; there are also many additional less known complications of the disease.
  • The most effective way to prevent obesity is by choosing an active lifestyle. Simple activities like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking to the school, church, shop etc can help.
  • According to health experts, drinking more plain water improves diet quality and can be used as a useful public health strategy for reducing energy intake and prevention of overweight as well as obesity.
Uzonna Anele
Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.


  1. […] faces serious nutrition-related challenges, stemming from both a deficiency in nutrients and obesity Despite a decrease in the prevalence of stunting globally, about 60 million African […]


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