There has been an exponential rise in the number of obese individuals especially in developed nations like United States and United Kingdom. Now obesity has become a public health problem in most nations. There is growing concern about rising obesity in Ghana and Africa at large. According to research by Quartz, obesity is high among urban African women between 15 and 49 years and has increased in the 24 African countries the research has been conducted in over the last 25 years.
Egypt has the highest prevalence of obesity, with two out of every five Egyptians (39%) being obese, followed by 22% in Ghana, with obesity being most prevalent among lower income earners. Among obesity factors, the most cited today is fast food. Obesity is linked to several long term health conditions, premature death and illness including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, gall bladder disease, fatty liver, arthritis and joint disorders and some cancers.
Studies have shown that this rise of obesity among the world population could be attributed to an increase in calorie intake coupled with lack of adequate physical activity. With Ghana regaining its position as the “star of the West”, Ghana’s market seems poised for Burger King’s entry as analysts rank it as Africa’s fastest-growing economy this year. Results from the analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) indicate increases in quantity and energy density of foods consumed in the United States from 1976 through 1980 (NHANES II) and 1999 through 2002 (NHANES III).
The food choices affect energy intake and this interacts with the genetic and metabolic factors to finally determine the body weight and composition.
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