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Obesity rising faster in rural areas globally

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Obesity worldwide is increasing more quickly in rural areas than in cities, a study reported Wednesday, challenging a long-held assumption that the global epidemic of excess weight is mainly an urban problem.

Data covering 200 countries and territories compiled by more than 1,000 researchers showed an average gain of roughly five to six kilos per woman and man living in the countryside from 1985 to 2017.

City-dwelling women and men, however, put on 38 and 24 percent less, respectively, than their rural counterparts over the same period, according to the findings, published in Nature.

“The results of this massive global study overturn commonly held perceptions that more people living in cities is the main cause of the global rise in obesity,” said senior author Majid Ezzati, a professor at Imperial College London’s School of Public Health.

“This means that we need to rethink how we tackle this global health problem.”

The main exception to the trend was sub-Saharan Africa, where women gained weight more rapidly in cities.

Obesity has emerged as a global health epidemic, driving rising rates of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and a host of cancers.

The annual cost of treating related health impacts could top a trillion dollars by 2025, the World Obesity Federation estimated in 2017.

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To date, most national and international policies to curb excess body weight have focused on cities, including public messaging, the redesign of urban spaces to encourage walking, and subsidised sports facilities.

To factor health status into the comparison across nations, the researchers used a standard measure known as the “body-mass index”, or BMI, based on height and weight.

A person with a BMI of 25 or more is considered overweight, while 30 or higher is obese. A healthy BMI ranges from 18.5 to 24.9.

Approximately two billion adults in the world are overweight, nearly a third of them obese. The number of obese people has tripled since 1975.

The study revealed important differences between countries depending on income level.

In high-income nations, for example, the study found that rural BMI were generally already higher in 1985, especially for women.

Lower income and education levels, the high cost and limited availability of healthy foods, dependence on vehicles, the phasing out of manual labour — all of these factors likely contributed to progressive weight gain.

Conversely, urban areas “provide a wealth of opportunities for better nutrition, more physical exercise and recreation, and overall improved health,” Ezzati said.

Around 55 percent of the world’s population live in cities or satellite communities, with that figure set to rise to 68 percent by mid-century, according to the United Nations.

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The most urbanised regions in the world are North America (82 percent), Latin America and the Caribbean (81 percent) and Europe (74 percent).

More recently, the proportion of overweight and obese adults in the rural parts of many low- and middle-income countries is also rising more quickly than in cites.

“Rural areas in these countries have begun to resemble urban areas,” Barry Popkin, an expert on global public health at the University of North Carolina, said in a comment, also in Nature.

“Modern food supply is now available in combination with cheap mechanised devices for farming and transport,” he added. “Ultra-processed foods are also becoming part of the diets of poor people.”

At a country level, several findings stand out.

Some of the largest BMI increases from 1985 to 2017 among men were in China, the United States, Bahrain, Peru and the Dominican Republic, adding an average of 8-9 kilos per adult.

Women in Egypt and Honduras added — on average, across urban and rural areas — even more.

Rural women in Bangladesh, and men living in rural Ethiopia, had the lowest average BMI in 1985, at 17.7 and 18.4 respectively, just under the threshold of healthy weight. Both cohorts were well above that threshold by 2017.

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The populations — both men and women — in small South Pacific island nations have among the highest BMI levels in the world, often well above 30.

“The NDC Risk Factor Collaboration challenges us to create programmes and policies that are rurally focused to prevent weight gain”, Popkin said.

source:nation.co.ke

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Police kill terror suspect, two children

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Police in Kwale shot and killed a terror suspect during a night raid.

Two children that the suspect was using as human shields were also killed.

The suspected Al-Shabaab militant, Mohamed Mapenzi, was killed in his house in Kibundani by an elite police team.

Mapenzi is reported to have thrown a grenade at the police during the raid on Saturday night.

“As the officers were preparing to break into the suspect’s house, he suddenly opened the door and threw a grenade at them slightly injuring one of them,” reads a police report seen by the Nation.

The officers opened fire killing the suspect and the minors.

The suspect’s wife and three other children were also injured in the raid and taken to Msabweni Referral Hospital.

Sources told the Nation that an Al-Shabaab suspect, who is in police custody, took the security agents to Mapenzi’s house.

The suspect, Saidi Chitswa alias Ninja, who is believed to be an Al-Shabaab recruiter, was arrested following reports that he was planning to launch an attack at an unnamed police station.

After interrogation, Chitswa led the officers to Mapenzi’s house to recover firearms.

Police said a grenade and assorted jungle uniforms were recovered from the house.

Coast Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss Washington Njiru said two other suspects were arrested during the operation.

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The killing of the terror suspect comes a month after two other suspects were killed in Kwale and Likoni.

The suspect in Kwale, who was identified as Suleiman Ali Kodza, was gunned down a day after he escaped a police dragnet in Mombasa.

Kodza, alias Pembe, who police had termed as Al-Shabaab ringleader in Diani was shot and killed in Ngerenya, South Coast.

Police sources say Kodza is believed to be in the same group with  Mapenzi and were planning to carry out an attack at a police station with a mission of stealing firearms.

When Kodza was killed police recovered five bullets, a machete and a knife.

Police linked him to the killing of two officers who were guarding St Paul’s ACK Church in Ukunda in September 2017.

By Nation.co.ke

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Former K24 Chief editor responds to claims of joining Citizen TV

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Peter Opondo who was the Chief editor at K24 was recently rumored to be headed back to Citizen TV! The story was sparked by his farewell post now that K24 is no longer operating following a few unknown details.

Being an experienced journalist, Mr Opondo was then rumored to have gone back to Citizen TV; but turns out that this was yet another baseless story as he called it.

Speaking to Kenyans.com who reached out for a comment, Mr Opondo brushed off the rumors saying;

Veteran Journalist, Peter Opondo

Those are stories created by some idle people in self isolation with frenzied minds and itchy fingers.

According to him, after the K24 incident he decided to take a long break as he goes back to the drawing board before he making his comeback. Mr Opondo said;

I am on much needed break as I recalibrate and you can take that to the bank as a guarantee for a loan

According to reports, Mr Opondo joined K24 back in 2018 after quitting his job at RMS. Before joining the station, Opondo had been handling matters involving editorial team as a whole,; guided his team to success and for the 2 years he helped change the station to a complete media house.

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Farewell letter

In the farewell letter that left many emotional, Mr Opondo wrote saying;

We had our fights and make-ups, highs and lows, but at all times we kept the focus with a clear aspiration to win. It was all business- and also personal sometimes, you know! Even in difficult times, outsiders (like viewers) would never tell, we kept it in the family.

I applaud the teams, especially anchors, for holding a straight face- and even smiling- when there was a literal fire under your seats!

He went on to urge the former employees to keep their heads high as life has always been unpredictable.

The future may be uncertain, but so is life. I believe that somehow, somewhat the sun shall rise tomorrow. So smile, believe in yourself and keep doing what you do best.

BY Ghafla 

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Shock as another Kenyan athlete is banned for doping

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The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) handed Kenya’s long-distance runner Mikel Kiprotich Mutai a four-year ban on Friday for a doping offence.

Road runner Japhet Kipchirchir Kipkorir was also handed provisional suspension for a similar offence.

Mutai’s ban starts on March 20 for four years and his results dating back to December 15, 2019, will be nullified.

Mutai and another Kenyan star Alex Korio Oliotiptip were handed separate provisional suspensions for violating World Athletics anti-doping rules on May 1, 2020.

Mutai’s charge involved the presence of prohibited substances (Norandrosterone) while Oliotiptip was suspended due to whereabout failures.

Former world marathon record-holder Paul Tergat said in April criminalising doping will help end vice in the country.

Tergat stated the country must move with speed and create a new law that will criminalise the offence.

“We all ran clean and we want our current crop of athletes to run clean. There’s no shortcut to clean sports except training hard.

“So many things have been happening right, left and centre regarding doping in Kenya,” said Tergat.

Tergat, the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) president, indicated athletes caught doping should serve jail time.

“Kenya now needs to be tough on dopers by criminalising their offences. They will suffer double loss to revenue and time in jail if they are found doping,” said Tergat.

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“At the current rate, Kenya risks being banned from the Olympics or big city’s marathons. What we need to do is make the punishment for offenders more punitive.

This will also bar offenders from putting on our national colours and make them ineligible to compete elsewhere,” he added.

Current Kenyan law stipulates a jail term of up to three years for support staff found guilty in connection with doping, but not for athletes.

From 2004 to August 2018, 138 Kenyan athletes tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, according to a WADA report published in September 2018.

With their high number of dopers, Kenya was placed under category A on the list of countries being watched together with Nigeria, Ethiopia, Bahrain, Morocco, Ukraine and Belarus.

By Game Yetu!

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