Contextual Trend in Preventing Obesity Epidemic in Developing Countries: Role of the Key Players
Aim: Today, the World Health Organization warns that the greater future burden of obesity and diabetes will affect developing countries with the extent doubling with urbanization. Aside from the estimation that, currently, more than 1.6 billion (age 15+ years) adults are overweight and at least 400 million of them are obese, it was also estimated that obesity is responsible for 2-6 % of the total health care cost in several developed countries and some estimates put the figure as high as 7%. The true costs are undoubtedly much greater as not all obesity related conditions are calculated. Some developing countries aimed to attain the millennium development goals (MDGs), which prospect the reduction in rate of tuberculosis, malaria, maternal and infant mortality rates, and childhood malnutrition, however little or nothing is done to curb the increasing obesity epidemic and its accompanying non-communicable diseases (NCDs) burden. The fact therefore is that, the developing countries’ health sector garbled with the double burden of diseases from the threat of both NCDs and infectious diseases.
Methodology: Literature search from PubMed, MEDLINE and Google Scholar was conducted with the aim of highlighting the prospects in preventing and managing obesity epidemics in developing countries through evidence based multi-strategic, multi-dimensional and proactive approaches.
Results: Numerous established studies recommended that, beyond individual action, the government, schools, families, employers, media, medical practitioners, food producers, manu-facturers, wholesalers, retailers, caterers, transporters, urban planners and community groups could formulate and implement a multi-strategic intervention plans to promote healthy eating habits and regular physical activity as well as manage those already overweight to prevent future obesity.
Conclusion: There is therefore, the need for a less cost effective, multi-sectional, far reaching population based intervention plans by the key players of the health sector in such countries which should incorporate the need for regular exercising, good nutritional habits, bodyweight image assessment and reduced stigmatization of affected individuals.
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