The fattening rooms of Calabar - a breeding ground for diabesity

Calabar is the capital city of Cross River State of Nigeria. It is a cosmopolitan town with a population of about half a million people. The population of Cross River State stands at around 2.5 million. Inhabitants of the region are mostly farmers, fishermen and civil servants. The Efik in south Calabar are a proud people with a rich cultural heritage. In Efik communities, the preservation of centuries-old values and customs is central to the tradition of ‘fattening rooms’.

Obesity stigma - causes, effects and some practical solutions

Obesity has become a pandemic, affecting adults and children around the world.  Considerable medical, scientific and lifestyle-related knowledge and resources are being channelled into the identification of strategies to combat this major public health problem. Despite these multidisciplinary efforts, however, little attention has been paid to the damaging social and psychological consequences of obesity.

'Stomp the Fat' - an effective national weight-reduction campaign

Despite a fall in diabetes prevalence from around 35% in 1975 to 16% in 2004, obesity and non-communicable diseases, including type 2 diabetes, remain the primary threat to health and well-being confronting Nauru in the 21st century. Nauru has few natural resources and, with a population of only 10,000, does not have the critical mass to support manufacturing. Nor, with a tiny land mass of 21 km² and unfavourable topography and soil conditions, can it support farming.

Changing lifestyles and the epidemic of obesity among children in Pakistan

Over recent decades, there has been a worldwide increase in the number of people with obesity – currently around 300 million according to the International Obesity Task Force – and there are no signs of a slow-down. Furthermore, rates of overweight and obesity in adults and children are rising dramatically in developing countries. A large and growing body of evidence points to the transformation of lifestyles worldwide – over-consumption of energy-dense food and decreased physical activity – as the driving force behind this pandemic.

The frustrations of trying to lose weight and the alternative of bariatric surgery

Aged 42 years, ‘S’, friend and colleague of the author, weighed 204 kg. Now, three years later, after undergoing intensive dieting and psychotherapy, she has lost nearly 10% of her body weight. But she remains 38 BMI units over and above the 30 kg/m threshold for the ‘obese’ category; she is in the range of ‘morbid obesity’. In a few weeks she will undergo dramatic abdominal surgery for this condition. Rhys Williams tells her story.

Lifestyle education for children - some useful strategies

In many cases, overweight and obesity in children constitute a grim warning for future health: if no action is taken, an overweight or obese child is likely to grow into an overweight or obese adult with a series of chronic health problems – among them, type 2 diabetes. Indeed, obesity-related health conditions, including the metabolic syndrome – a strong risk factor for cardiovascular diseases – are increasingly prevalent among children around the world.

Family-centred education for migrants with diabetes in Scotland

A culturally sensitive, intensive diabetes education service is being delivered in the community to people of ethnic-minority origin living with type 2 diabetes in Lothian, Scotland. Designed by a pharmacist, the initiative began as a research project, but the effectiveness and popularity of the programme resulted in its development and implementation as part of the local diabetes care package.

Translating science into practice: the US National Diabetes Education Program

The USA ranks third in the global prevalence of diabetes, preceded only by India and China. About 7% of the population has diabetes. A third of the total number of people with the condition is believed to be undiagnosed and therefore not receiving treatment to reduce the risk of disabling and life-threatening diabetes complications. The economic costs of diabetes are enormous – estimated at 132 billion USD in 2002. The mission of the US National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) is to reduce diabetes-related illness and death.

Childhood obesity: the unacceptable price of successful marketing

Children around the world are becoming increasingly vulnerable to overweight and obesity. The International Obesity Taskforce estimates that around 45 million of the world’s school-age children are obese – about 3% of the population of children under 5 years old. It is widely recognized that the modern transformation of lifestyles, including widespread sedentary behaviours and dramatic increases in the consumption of foods that are high in fat and sugar and low in nutrients, are behind the pandemic of obesity-related conditions, including type 2 diabetes.

The impact of a low-fat vegan diet on people with type 2 diabetes

Typical diets for people with type 2 diabetes limit carbohydrates, reduce calories to facilitate weight loss, and limit saturated fats to reduce cardiovascular risk. These dietary changes are logical and sometimes helpful. For many people, however, this sort of change leads to no more than modest weight loss and a small improvement in blood glucose control. In this article, Neal Barnard looks at evidence to suggest there might be a more effective nutritional approach to prevent or manage type 2 diabetes.