Why you must watch that tummy, could be an indicator of abdominal obesity

Woman with a big tummy

Many people perceive having a big tummy as a marker for good health and financially sound status, yet this condition poses the greatest health risk of one contracting a non-communicable disease.

In Africa, there has been more concentration on tackling under-nutrition among children than over-nutrition, thus somehow over-shadowing the growing challenge of overweight among adults.

Africa has been experiencing under-nutrition for a long time, with stunted growth remaining stubbornly high especially in children despite the high gross domestic product (GDP) growth in most African countries in the recent past.

Studies indicate that women are more at risk of being obese. Available data suggest most African countries, may be experiencing an upsurge of non-communicable medical conditions such as heart-related diseases and diabetes.

According to the study, the prevalence of hypertension is at 34.8 percent among African residents and impaired glucose level or diabetes of 4.0 percent.

Both generalized and abdominal obesity are associated with the increased risk of morbidity and mortality among the population in Africa.

Globally, there has been an increase in abdominal obesity.

This kind of obesity has been discovered to have the highest risk of non-communicable diseases, especially cardiovascular diseases such as strokes, hypertension, heart failure, and high blood pressure.

The study also reveals that obesity has complications that include glucose tolerance, reduced insulin sensitivity and adverse lipid profiles which are risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Therefore, the risk of diabetes in adults increases continuously with increasing overweight.

According to the report, a careful analysis of the relationship between obesity and adult-onset diabetes confirms that abdominal obesity is an important risk factor.

Obesity results from an unhealthy diet and poor eating habits leading to consumption of more calories than the amount that the body can burn.

However, there are also other factors such as inactivity. If you're not very active, you don't burn as many calories.

With a sedentary lifestyle, you can easily take in more calories every day than you use through exercise and normal daily activities.

Obesity can sometimes be traced to a medical cause, such as Prader-Willi syndrome, Cushing's syndrome and other diseases and conditions.

Some medical problems such as arthritis can lead to decreased activity, which may result in weight gain. A low metabolism is unlikely to cause obesity, as is having low thyroid function.

What should one do about it?


Make healthy food choices such as;

  • Eating less fatty meat and oily foods such as chips and fried foods.
  • Avoid eating too many carbohydrates (nshima, bread, rice, porridge, corn).
  • Choose to eat nutrient-dense foods rich in nutrients, low in calories, fat-free, low-fat milk etc.
  • Eating high-fiber foods such as fruits and green vegetables, brown bread, roller meal.
  • Reducing portions or sizes of meals.
  • Be physically active such as going hiking, dancing with your spouse, walking in the morning etc.
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