Weight problems in Ghana, a public well being drawback

One third of Ghana’s inhabitants is obese and one in ten Ghanaians is obese. By way of a wealthy food plan and sedentarization of life in city areas.

Our correspondent in Accra,

From the top of the morning, the streets of Accra are stuffed with the scent of the dishes we cook dinner: fried fish in stalls, sautéed plantain leaves, fried rice and stews. Heavy meals, wealthy in oils and starch, acknowledges Daniel Sukah Mawuli, head of a restaurant that serves conventional meals. We Ghanaians wish to eat fufu and banku, that are cassava-based dough balls. Waakye too: it is a combination of rice and pink beans. We eat every part with stews and chili sauces, all of that are made with oil. ”

Culinary habits that should not with out penalties: weight problems has change into a public well being drawback in Ghana. The proportion of the inhabitants in query has multiplied by 6 in 40 years. In 2016, based on the World Well being Group (WHO), 10.9% of Ghana’s grownup inhabitants was obese and 30.8% had been obese. Nonetheless, weight problems remains to be hardly ever seen as a drawback, says Crispin Mills, a buyer of this restaurant. “Seeing fats folks right here is regular, that is what we have all the time felt. Folks suppose that when you are skinny, you’re malnourished or poor. However once they see somebody with a abdomen, they inform themselves that he’s wealthy! ”

For nutritionists, the drawback just isn’t simply meals but additionally sedentarization of life, explains Sandra Boatemaa Kushitor, a researcher in public well being on the College of Ghana. “Folks don’t stroll as a lot as earlier than. In city areas, even for brief distances, generally lower than a kilometer, we take the sidewalk [minibus, NDLR]. Jobs that require bodily exercise should not as widespread as they was. Folks work extra in commerce than in agriculture. ”

The nutritionist is interesting for a structural change, with the institution of well being protection on the nationwide stage. “I consider that on the structural stage, the place it’s most significant, we must always create nationwide well being protection. Folks ought to give you the option to go to the hospital, be weighed and a nutritionist ought to give them applicable recommendation. “

However in the intervening time, the mechanics nonetheless appear tough to cease. Particularly since conventional meals is beginning to face competitors from American quick meals eating places. Burger King, KFC and Pizza Hut have not too long ago established a foothold within the capital and enchantment to a rising variety of younger middle-class prospects.


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