Western lifestyles feeding obesity in Nigeria | This is Africa


Western lifestyles feeding obesity in Nigeria

A new study has warned of a growing obesity problem in Nigeria and other sub-Saharan African countries, blaming this emergence on increasingly Western lifestyles



Obesity is on a rapid incline in parts of sub-Saharan Africa and is set to create a number of health issues that the West is already struggling with. This is according to a new study published by the open access journal PLOS One.

The study from researchers at Warwick Medical School found that more than one in five women in Nigeria is overweight. The statistics for men are much lower and the researchers believe that this owed to the amount of physical labour men still have to perform.

This may also be attributed to the archaic belief in Nigeria and some other developing nations that weight equates to wealth, the researchers believe. The most prosperous women are three times more likely to be obese. So education and social status also contribute to the extra gains of flesh.

“Obesity is now not just a western problem, but an African one as well. By becoming wealthier, better educated and urbanised regions of Nigeria are gaining the attributes we would more commonly associate with western societies” says Dr Ngianga-Bakwin Kandala from Warwick Medical School, “This has brought both a change in lifestyle and diet that is reflected in finding that educated, wealthy women are much more likely to be obese than those living in more rural, traditional areas.”


This creates an awkward situation in Africa’s biggest economy where the disparity between rich and poor is ever increasing. Under-nourishment and obesity now co-exist.

Source: The Guardian

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