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.
Prof Palep Jaydeep of Nanavati Hospital India described obesity as a disease which can also be classified as a syndrome.
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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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.
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.
“One can manage obesity by decreasing portion sizes, selecting correct nutrients, allowing regular feeding intervals and taking adequate water,” said Kamau.
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.
“Patients should be stratified to determine weight loss target,” said Ngugi.