Rabat – Seven million Moroccans, or an astonishing 20.6 percent of the population, were suffering from obesity as of 2014, a 5.4 percent increase compared to 2005, according to UN State of Food Security and Nutrition in their World 2017 report.
The number of Moroccans over 18 suffering from obesity has increased from 5,300,000 in 2004 to 7,000,000 in 2014, said the report, which noted that Morocco is not the exception, as “adult obesity is rising everywhere at an accelerating pace.”
Released last Friday, the report indicated that while adult obesity has increased in Morocco, childhood obesity decreased from 4,656,000 cases, or 13.3 percent. in 2005 to 3,745,000, or 10.7 percent, in 2016.
Although childhood obesity has decreased in Morocco, the prevalence of the condition, which increases risk of premature death, heart diseases, circulatory disorders, hypertension, diabetes, and breathing difficulties as well as psychological suffering, is still relatively high.
The report indicated that obesity among children is due to several factors, including “growing up in obesogenic environments that encourage unhealthy food preferences and inadequate physical activity patterns, which in turn lead to weight gain and obesity.”
Worldwide prevalence of obesity has more than doubled between 1980 and 2014.
In 2014, 13 percent of the world’s adult population was classified as obese.
The condition is more common among women, with 15 percent of all Moroccan women suffering from obesity, compared to men with a rate of 11 percent.
The phenomenon is most severe in North America, Europe, and Oceania, where 28 percent of adults are classified as obese, compared with 7 percent in Asia and 11 percent in Africa, said the report.
The UN continued to say that in Latin America and the Caribbean, roughly one-quarter of the adult population is currently considered obese.
Morocco reduced the prevalence rate of undernourishment from 5.8 percent in 2004-06 to 3.5 percent in 2014-16, leading to fight against the spread of hunger in the MENA region.
In North Africa, the under nourishment rate is estimated at 10.7 percent. The kingdom is ahead of Tunisia, where the rate is 5 percent rate, Algeria with 4.6 percent, and Egypt with 4.5 percent.
In 2016, an episode ofChannel 2’s TV program, “The Obesity Challenge,” stated that roughly 10 million Moroccans live with obesity, while the World Health Organization (WHO) reported in the same year thatthat an “alarming” 14 percent of all Moroccan children suffer from obesity.