Study: Obesity Rate in Africa High Among Poor

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Researchers say obesity in Africa is climbing among poor city dwellers who are eating cheap, high fat, high sugar foods.

Scientists said the number of overweight and obese Africans has increased by nearly 35 percent in ten years.

"Given the chronic nature of most diseases associated with obesity and by extension the huge cost of treatment, the prospects look grim for the already under-funded and ill-equipped African health care systems unless urgent action is taken," said Abdhalah Ziraba, who worked on the research with the African Population and Health Research Centre in Nairobi.

The study from the BioMed Center Public Heath journal found that rich people in urban areas of Africa were more likely to be overweight or obese than others, but the rate of increase in obesity was higher among the poor.

Reuters points out that obesity is threatening to overwhelm health care programs around the world by leading to cases of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

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