Overweight and obesity are now recognised worldwide as increasing public health problems. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) worldwide, at least 2.8 million people die each year as a result of being overweight or obese. Overweight and obesity lead to adverse metabolic effects on blood pressure, alongside numerous conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, stroke, heart disease, certain types of cancer, and arthritis.

According to recent reports, for every one overweight or obese man, there are at least two overweight or obese women. Women who experience negative events in their lives are more likely to grow fat using food as a way to numb the pain and confusion. Thus women’s obesity was significantly higher than men’s, with the exception of high income countries where it was similar. In low and lower middle income countries, obesity among women was approximately double that of men.
It is estimated that more than 50 percent of women in urban Latin America and Caribbean are overweight or obese while in Africa and Asia-Pacific the likelihood of being overweight or obesity rises with wealth levels in urban areas.
In sub-Saharan Africa, the prevalence of overweight and obesity has been on the increase, especially among urban women. Many women, irrespective of demographic characteristics or income, are vulnerable to becoming overweight or obese because of limited resources for physical activity and healthy food choices, work commitments, and family demands.

It is pertinent to state that there is a common misconception that obesity and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) only occur among the wealthy. Despite the awareness of health consequences of increasing body weight, a sociocultural factor seems to override health reasons in the choice of preferred body size.

In some African societies being fat remains a symbol of status and power. Many countries view obesity as a sign of prosperity. In Nigeria, there is a cultural element to this – richer and more successful women are often expected to be fat. The richest women are more likely to be overweight or obese than those in the lowest income bracket. But education and social status also increase women’s chances of putting on more weight than is good for their health.

However, the evidence for the adverse effects of obesity on women’s health is overwhelming and indisputable. Findings have shown obesity in women could also affect their chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby. Obese women can experience hormonal imbalances, ovulation problems, particularly for obese women having their first baby.

The good news is that obesity is preventable. While there is no simple or single solution to tackling obesity, many women are overweight or obese through making bad choices. Cooking healthy meals at home is a good start. Also, regular exercise can help to improve your chance of pregnancy and having a healthy baby.
It is no secret that many women like men are in weight loss programme. This has become a worldwide trend. Women should avoid taking all sorts of slimming teas and drugs with the aim of trying to slim down because all these substances eventually do more harm than good to the body. It is best to talk to your doctor before starting any weight-loss programme. They can work with you to find the best way for you to lose weight.

Losing weight is not easy, and it takes commitment and time. Your environment and other parts of your life are contributing factors. It is essential to get more sleep, to deal with stress related issues. This can also help you lose weight.

Gabriel Ifinnwa

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