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Kampala kids face high obesity risk

By Vision Reporter

Added 24th May 2011 03:00 AM

KAMPALA pupils are at a higher risk of becoming obese compared to their counterparts in other parts of the country because of their diet and lifestyle.

KAMPALA pupils are at a higher risk of becoming obese compared to their counterparts in other parts of the country because of their diet and lifestyle.

By John Kasozi

KAMPALA pupils are at a higher risk of becoming obese compared to their counterparts in other parts of the country because of their diet and lifestyle.

Dr. Dorothy Nakimbugwe, a senior lecturer at the Department of Food Technology and Nutrition, Makerere University, says the children take snacks like cakes, cookies and biscuits which have a high sugar and fat content and low fibre.

Alcohol consumption, smoking, lack of exercise, being driven to and from school and general wealthy lifestyle are some the factors associated with obesity.

The International Obesity Task Force estimates that about 155 million school-going children globally, are either overweight or obese.

Way forward
The Makerere University Food Technology and Business Incubation Centre supports a number of upcoming business entrepreneurs which include Nutreal Ltd.

Nutreal Ltd specialises in producing nutritious products to contribute to the fight against diet related imbalances such as obesity and overweight among school children.

“Nutreal products target families, schools and other institutions. In each product is an educational brochure with nutrition information,” Nakimbugwe explains.

She adds that to encourage behaviour change, Nutreal has started providing information and subsidising its products in schools. An effort was recently made in Kampala Junior Academy in which grain amaranth (Doodo) porridge and nutrient-enhanced cookies were provided at factory price.

Nutreal products include: amaranth bars processed from popped amaranth grains with peanuts and honey, and nutrient-enhanced cookies made from whole peanuts and simsim with vitamins.

The cookies are made from amaranth flour which is high in protein, fibre and amino acids, including lysine which is low in other cereals.

The flour is higher in essential vitamins and minerals than other cereals and is high in good unsaturated fats with cholesterol lowering effects. Grain amaranth also improves glucose and lipid metabolism with potential benefits to diabetics.

Kampala kids face high obesity risk

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