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Fast foods major cause of obesity in Nigeria, says nutritionist

Mr. Ajobo, however, advised against the use of anti-obesity drugs as they could manifest harmful effects after using them for a long time.

Tunde Ajobo, a nutritionist, on Wednesday in Ibadan warned against excessive consumption of junk or fast foods as they are the major causes of obesity in Nigeria.

Mr. Ajobo, who is the Head of Dietetic Department, University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, gave the warning while making a presentation at a quarterly seminar, organised by the department.

Fast foods and junk foods are high in fat sodium and sugar, which can lead to obesity and a range of attendant health problems.

Mr. Ajobo noted that junk foods give calories but do not contain the nutrients the body needs to stay healthy.

The nutritionist pointed out that with accumulation of fat in the body one could gain weight and become obese which is common during middle age.

He advised that since obese people often have low self-esteem about themselves, they should watch their weight while it could still be controlled.

“Risk factors in obesity include physical inactivity, eating fried foods, use of steroids, genes, eating habits and arthritis.

“Factors like weight history, unusual diet, behavioural eating pattern, resources weight goal, should be considered when treating obesity,” he said.

He advised that people should eat boiled food rather than fried ones and that they should establish regular time by eating rich foods thrice daily at a set time.

He said local delicacies such as ogbono soup (dika nut), egusi soup (melon), and the various soups made from groundnut and beans, are rich in fat, and that their consumption should be reduced.

Mr. Ajobo, however, advised against the use of anti-obesity drugs as they could manifest harmful effects after using them for a long time.

William Balogun, the deputy Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, UCH, described the theme of the symposium – “Controlling overweight and Obesity” – as appropriate.

He said people should begin to see the negative effect of obesity as its prevalence rate had gone up in the last few years.

He said the UCH management had adopted a multi-disciplinary approach to the problem, adding that the treatment of obesity always involved more than two departments in the hospital.

Mr. Balogun, who urged UCH staff members to do their best to provide needing patients with the necessary therapy, added that the gym provided by the management should be put to use.

(NAN)

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