Insights on how to manage obesity from MKU health symposium

Mt Kenya University (MKU) in collaboration with TV47 held a Health Symposium on Saturday at Laico Regency Hotel dubbed Cutting Edge Management of Lifestyle Diseases-Obesity.

The event was graced by health professionals who educated the public on how to manage obesity by adopting good lifestyle mechanisms such as healthy eating.

The panel of experts and organizers who graced the Mount Kenya Medical School Symposium

Prof Palep Jaydeep of Nanavati Hospital India described obesity as a disease which can also be classified as a syndrome.

Prof Palep Jaydeep of Nanavati Hospital India addressing the media during the function

According to Dr Rossylyn Ngugi, obesity is caused by genes, dietary trends and habits, physical inactivity, socio-economic status and built environment.

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Participants at the Mount Kenya University Medicine School Symposium led by TV47 CEO Mr. Eugene Anangwe.

Dr Ngugi noted that the rate of obesity in Kenya is at a rise, with a 5% increase every year.

“A body mass index of 18.5- 24.9 is normal, 30-39.9 is obese, 25-29.9 is overweight and 40 is morbidly obese,” said Dr Ngugi.

Managing obesity

Dr Jane Kamau, a senior lecturer at the Department of Physical Education at Kenyatta University, asked attendants to measure their food portions so as to ensure they increase the proportion of low-energy-dense foods.

Kenyatta University Senior Lecturer Dr. Jane Kamau speaking at the symposium

“One can manage obesity by decreasing portion sizes, selecting correct nutrients, allowing regular feeding intervals and taking adequate water,” said Kamau.

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Dr Kamau also said that obesity is manageable, urging those between 5-17 years to accumulate at least 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity.

However, Dr Ngugi cautioned patients who have had a stroke not to lose weight above 20kgs as that would be harmful to their health.

Dr. Rosslyn Ngugi at the event

“Patients should be stratified to determine weight loss target,” said Ngugi.

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