Literature Review Of Obesity
Although obesity is a global epidemic that affects every socio-economic class, little is available in the literature on the status of the syndrome in Africa.This literature review was therefore written in order to highlight the causes, effects and potential mitigation measures of the syndrome with particular interest on the status of the condition in Africa.Obesity results from an incorrect energy balance leading to an increased store of energy, mainly as fat.The major factors that contribute to obesity include over-nutrition, physical inactivity, change of dietary habits, modernization,consumption of high fat, high carbohydrate foods, urbanization and in a minority of patients a physical condition or metabolic disturbance.Overweight and obesity are often assessed by body mass index (BMI).This is weight (in kilograms) divided by height (in metres) squared (kg/m For children, the BMI cut-offs for overweight and obesity vary depending on age and gender.
These charts show the age-related population distribution of BMI values per gender.
Figure 2: Geographical distribution of the prevalence of overweight (including obesity) in children aged 6–9 years (sexes combined) of Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative Round 2 (2009/2010), based on WHO definitions.
Monitoring the prevalence of childhood obesity is important to assess the effectiveness and success rate of intervention schemes and prevention programmes.
Any excess energy taken in is stored as fat, which over time can lead to overweight or obesity.
For a simple explanation of the concept of energy balance, and the complexity of it, please watch EUFIC’s Energy Balance video.