Tanzania: Dar Women At Risk of NCDs - Study

MAJORITY women in Dar es Salaam are at high risk of developing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) due to unhealthy eating habits, nutrition experts have warned.

According to the experts, women habits of eating more fat, carbohydrate and junk foods have led them to be overweight and obese.

A nutrition officer in Temeke District Mr Charles Malale said recently that in a brief health check-up conducted to members of Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Women's Wing, many of them were found to be overweight, a key risk factor for NCDs.

The CCM Women's Wing convened the meeting as part of preparations to mark the party's 44th anniversary.

"We conducted the health check-ups to the meeting participants some of whom were overweight, which is not good for a healthy person because it exposes him or her to the risk of NCDs," said Makalu.

He advised them to adhere to good eating habits, including eating small portions of food rich in calories, fats, and free from sugar or salt.

The health check-up involved 196 women, and among them, 63 were overweight equivalent to 32.3 per cent.

On the other hand, 42 women were found to be in a state of good nutrition, which is equivalent to 21.5 per cent, while one person was found to be in poor nutritional status -- equivalent to 0.5 per cent.

He said obesity in society has been a major problem caused by improper consumption of food containing fats and carbohydrates in large quantities.

The nutritionist called for the continuation of nutrition education to help majority people understand the importance of eating a balanced diet.

He further added that lack of adequate food can also cause the body to weaken and even get malnutrition.

Obesity can cause complications such as metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, high amount of cholesterol in blood, cancer and sleep disorders.

Treatments include lifestyle changes, such as heart-healthy eating and increased physical activity.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the fundamental cause of obesity and overweight is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended and an increased intake of energy- dense foods that are high in fat and sugars.

It is also caused by an increase in physical inactivity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation, and increasing urbanisation.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognises NCDs as a major challenge for sustainable development.

As part of the Agenda, Heads of State and Government committed to develop ambitious national responses by 2030 to reduce by one-third premature mortality from NCDs through prevention and treatment (SDG target 3.4).

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