African Governments Must Take Action To Prevent Potential Obesity Epidemic

Devex: Opinion: 3 government interventions to get a head start on the obesity epidemic in Africa
Tom Arnold, chair of the Irish Convention on the Constitution, member of the International Food Policy Research Institute’s advisory board, and director and governor at the Irish Times

“…Africa is … suffering the paradoxical double burden of modern malnutrition. While millions starve, the continent is on the cusp of an obesity epidemic. … African governments still have time to get ahead of this crisis with urgent, targeted policy interventions. They must learn from the mistakes made in the U.K. and other countries and regulate the content of processed food and associated advertising campaigns. 1. Educate people through information campaigns … 2. Start transforming health care systems now … 3. Scale up policies that work … Several African governments have been successful in tackling undernutrition by putting it at the top of their political agenda[s] and creating broad partnerships across departments that bring in private sector players. … It is crucial that Africa’s obesity epidemic is recognized and tackled in a similar way” (4/12).