Nigeria ranks 180 out of 183 countries in obesity preparedness

According to the World Obesity Federation's World Obesity Atlas 2023 report, Nigeria is the least prepared to deal with the global rise in Noncommunicable Diseases and obesity.

According to the report, Nigeria ranks 180th out of 183 countries in the NCDs-Obesity Preparedness Rankings.

The ranking system considers countries' current responses to NCDs in their health systems as well as their commitment to implementing obesity prevention policies.

The report reveals significant differences in preparedness across national income levels and geographical regions. For example, the average preparedness ranking for low-income countries is 154/183, while high-income countries rank 29/183. Eight of the ten least prepared countries are in Africa, while all ten of the most prepared are in Europe.

Niger ranks 183, Papua New Guinea 182, Somalia 181, Central African Republic 179, Burkina Faso 178, Guinea Bissau 177, Burundi 176, Tokelau 175, and Gambia 174 as the countries least prepared to deal with NCDs-obesity.

Meanwhile, Switzerland, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, France, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Ireland, and Belgium have been identified as having the best preparedness to deal with obesity and NCDs.

The trends indicate a gradual increase in prevalence for all groups from 2020 to 2035, but the rate of change for lower-income countries, particularly the poorest, may be faster than in the previous two decades.

Lower-middle-income countries with large populations, such as India, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Nigeria, may quickly follow the lead of upper-middle-income countries such as Mexico, Brazil, and Turkey in terms of rapid rise in obesity prevalence, particularly among children and adolescents, according to the report.

By 2035, the projected trend in the prevalence of obesity in Nigerian adults is 24%.

It also revealed that the annual increase in adult and child obesity from 2020 to 2035 will be very high, at 4.9% and 8.3%, respectively.

According to the report, the overweight effect on national GDP is expected to be 0.9% by 2035.

According to research conducted by the World Obesity Federation, people living with obesity face some barriers to care because they frequently cannot obtain a diagnosis (because obesity may not be classified as a disease) or the treatment they require from knowledgeable and trained health professionals, and are forced to incur significant out-of-pocket expenses to receive appropriate medical treatment.

Overweight and obesity are expected to cost more than $370 billion per year in low and lower-middle-income countries by 2035.

Commenting on the report, the Director of Science at the World Obesity Federation, Rachel Jackson-Leach said "If we do not act now, we are on course to see significant increases in obesity prevalence over the next decade. The greatest increases will be seen in low and lower-middle income countries, where scarce resources and a lack of preparedness will combine to create a perfect storm that will disproportionately affect people living with obesity."

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