Dr Alaba

15th Mar, 2016



“Globesity” – coined from Global Obesity as there is an escalating epidemic of overweight and obesity which paradoxically is coexisting with undernutrition.

Obesity is a complex condition, one with serious social and psychological dimensions, that affects  virtually all age and socioeconomic groups and threatens to overwhelm developed and developing countries - WHO.



 Overweight and Obesity are measured using several tools such as Body Mass Index {BMI}, Waist Circumference, Skin Thickness, etc.

Using Body Mass Index as assessment measured in Kg/m2 :

18.5 - 24.9 = Normal

25.0 - 29.9 = Overweight

30.0 – 34.9 = Mild obesity{ Grade I}

35.0 – 39.9 = Moderate obesity { Grade II}

≥ 40 = Severe or morbid obesity

It is calculated by dividing your weight by your height( in metres) then dividing what you get by your height again. So, what did you get?  What category are you in?

Click here to check your BMI



A study in 2014 shows that 2.1 billion adults are overweight compared with 857 million in 1980. Obesity rate in Africa is estimated to be 10%. Rates among women are three times those found in men. In urban West Africa, rate of obesity have more than doubled in the last 15 years.


Risk Factors

Yes, heredity is a strong factor. However, this simple analogy applies:

Weight changes = Energy (calories) intake – Energy (calories) expenditures

Energy intake implies food intake and energy expenditure implies physical activities.

 Therefore, Weight Gain = ↑Energy intake (food) - ↓Activity

Although a few cases of obesity results from endocrine disorders, medications or psychiatric illnesses.


Problems of Obesity

Medical problems from obesity abounds with several conditions running from head to toe. These include Stroke, cataracts affecting the eyes, coronary heart disease, liver diseases, gall bladder disease, some cancers, osteoarthritis( joint disease), gynaecological abnormalities such as infertility, abnormal menses amongst others. Obesity has contributory effects to all these.




Psycho-social and physical problems

Low self-esteem and feeling of being unfashionable are common with the obese and of  poor physical fitness which is less ability to withstand physical stress.


Managing Obesity

The mainstay in weight reduction is Diet adjustment and Regular Exercise.

Diet adjustment involves watching what we eat and how we eat.  Unfortunately most of our staple foods in Nigeria are starchy calorie rich foods, the quantity and the frequency at which we take them should be reduced. A cut down on fatty foods especially the fast foods will help. More of fruits and vegetables which is usually better as dinner. There are dietary pills to help suppress appetite and reduce stomach capacity for food.

Regular exercise such as brisk walk, jogging, swimming or sport activities goes a long way to bring down the weight. About 45 minutes sweaty and heart pumping exercise 5 times a week is the usually average prescription. This can be done as early morning routines or evening routines. The effectiveness lies in being consistent.

However, there are surgical procedures available especially for the severe cases and those who find diet adjustment difficult. These procedures can be done laparoscopically i.e. with minimal invasion.



As the saying goes,  ”excess of everything is bad”. Endeavour to keep your body in good shape because it is still the only thing keeping you to this earth.

Image Credit:Internet

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