Covid-19: Broadly learn newspaper incorrect that 2 in 5 Kenyans are overweight
Weight problems impacts two in each 5 Kenyans
Supply: The Day by day Nation newspaper (27 July 2020)
Explainer: The newest information obtainable reveals solely 9% of adults and a a lot smaller share of youngsters in Kenya are overweight.
- The Day by day Nation informed Africa Test the determine “two in each 5” was drawn from a 2014 demographic and well being survey.
- The cited survey doesn’t present this. It solely has information displaying that 10.1% of surveyed girls aged 15 to 49 had been overweight and 4.1% of youngsters youthful than 5.
- Consultants informed us no different information obtainable supported the determine quoted by the newspaper. They estimated one in 10 adults and much fewer youngsters had been overweight.
Reporting in late July 2020 on what it mentioned was Kenya’s highest variety of each day Covid-19 infections for almost 4 months, the Day by day Nation highlighted the position of weight problems on hospitalisations and deaths from the illness.
“Weight problems – a situation that impacts two in each 5 Kenyans – has been implicated in lots of the hospitalisations and deaths,” the newspaper mentioned.
It cited “preliminary analysis on African American deaths on account of Covid-19 in France, the UK and the US” and feedback from a well being official and a scientist in help of this assertion.
Pointers from Kenya’s well being ministry be aware that there are some dangers when treating important circumstances of Covid-19 in sufferers who’ve weight problems.
However the Day by day Nation didn’t give a supply for its declare in regards to the variety of people who find themselves overweight. Are as many as 40% of Kenyans at higher danger from the virus? We investigated.
Paper’s supply doesn’t present 2 in 5 determine
The journalist who wrote the article informed Africa Test that the supply of the figures was the 2014 Kenya Demographic and Well being Survey.
The nationally consultant family survey gives information on a variety of matters, reminiscent of inhabitants, well being and diet and is carried out in a number of nations.
The 2014 survey is the latest on Kenya and has info on the dietary standing of girls and youngsters, however not males. It confirmed that from a pattern of 13,143 girls aged 15 to 49, some 10.1% had been overweight.
The survey reported 43% of girls in city areas had been doubtless both overweight or chubby. This was the closest determine within the survey to the “two in each 5” reported by the Day by day Nation.
|Measuring weight problems
The World Well being Group defines chubby and weight problems as “irregular or extreme fats accumulation which will impair well being”.
The well being company says a measure generally known as the physique mass index, or BMI, is often used to categorise chubby and weight problems in adults. It’s calculated as “an individual’s weight in kilograms divided by the sq. of his top in metres (kg/m2)”.
In adults, if the BMI is 25 or extra, they’re chubby, and overweight if the index is 30 or extra. The WHO says that for youngsters, age needs to be thought of. That is as a result of “it’s troublesome to develop one easy index for the measurement of chubby and weight problems in youngsters and adolescents as a result of their our bodies endure quite a few physiological modifications as they develop”.
Kids beneath 5 are thought of chubby or overweight if their weight-for-height is bigger than can be statistically anticipated beneath WHO child-growth pointers. These aged 5 to 19 are chubby or overweight if their BMI-for-age is greater than can be be statistically anticipated beneath WHO development references.
The second approach of measuring weight problems is the waist-hip ratio, Dr Gershim Asiki, analysis scientist on the African Inhabitants and Well being Analysis Middle in Nairobi, Kenya, informed Africa Test. That is calculated by dividing the waist circumference by the hip circumference.
“The waist-hip ratio is extra correct than BMI in estimating weight problems. It measures the buildup of fats in your tummy,” Asiki, who leads the non-communicable illness analysis programme on the middle, mentioned.
“For males a worth equal or greater than 0.9 denotes weight problems whereas amongst girls a worth 0.85 or extra means you’re overweight.”
Survey reveals grownup estimate nearer to 9%, not 40%
Dr Alice Mboganie Mwangi informed Africa Test the 2014 demographic and well being survey and a 2015 survey on non communicable illnesses by Kenya’s well being ministry had been “probably the most complete info we now have at the moment”.
She is the pinnacle of the utilized human diet programme on the College of Nairobi’s division of meals know-how and diet.
Dr Gershim Asiki, analysis scientist on the African Inhabitants and Well being Analysis Middle, mentioned the 2015 well being ministry survey was probably the most present for adults aged 18 to 69.
The survey was of 4,574 folks, of whom 40% had been males and 60% girls. Utilizing the WHO’s physique mass index classification, it discovered that 4.3% of males and 13.7% of girls had been overweight. For each sexes, 8.9% had been overweight, about one in each 10 folks.
|Proportion of Kenyan women and men by BMI classification in 2015|
|Underweight (BMI beneath 18.5)||13.7%||8.9%||11.3%|
|Regular (BMI 18.5 -24.9)||68.8%||52.6%||60.8%|
|Chubby (BMI 25-29.9)||13.2%||24.9%||19.0%|
|Overweight (BMI 30 and better)||4.3%||13.7%||8.9%|
Supply: Kenya Stepwise Survey for Non Communicable Ailments Threat Components 2015 Report, Ministry of Well being
The survey additionally gave estimates utilizing the waist-hip ratio. It discovered that “28% of the lads and 36% of the Kenyan girls had a better waist–hip ratio than really helpful” and had been at a better danger of obesity-related diseases. The survey didn’t give separate estimates for weight problems and chubby.
The newest information from the WHO utilizing physique mass index reveals 6% of grownup Kenyans had been overweight as of 2017. This was 2.5% of males and 9.4% of girls.
What of youngsters?
In accordance with the 2014 Kenya demographic and well being survey, 4.1% of youngsters beneath 5 had been thought of chubby or overweight.
Asiki mentioned there isn’t national-level information but for youngsters aged beneath 18. However “there are pockets of small research in some elements of Kenya for preschool youngsters and college youngsters”.
He mentioned a 2010 examine discovered weight problems amongst 4% of preschool youngsters aged three to 5, and a 2014 examine discovered 6% of youngsters in Nairobi aged 9 to 11 had been affected.
Asiki mentioned: “Even with out the nationwide figures we are able to predict that it’s a lot decrease amongst youngsters”.
The WHO estimated that as of 2017 2.3% of Kenyan youngsters aged 5 to 9 had been overweight, and 1.7% of childen aged 10 to 19. We now have requested the organisation for the supply of its information.
The College of Nairobi’s Dr Mwangi mentioned it was inaccurate that two in 5 Kenyans are affected by weight problems.
“That’s not true, except you need to differentiate when it comes to location and gender. You would possibly discover extra weight problems in city areas and likewise amongst extra girls than males. It’s not two in each 5 Kenyans, that’s not factual.”
Conclusion: Information doesn’t help declare that weight problems impacts two in 5 Kenyans
In in search of to spotlight the elevated dangers Kenyans with weight problems face from Covid-19, a nationwide newspaper claimed that two in each 5 Kenyans are overweight.
Consultants informed Africa Test that the latest information doesn’t help this. Roughly one in 10 adults in Kenya are overweight, and whereas there isn’t national-level information obtainable, the speed of weight problems for youngsters can be a lot decrease.
We subsequently fee the declare as incorrect.
© Copyright Africa Test 2020. Learn our republishing pointers. Chances are you’ll reproduce this piece or content material from it for the aim of reporting and/or discussing information and present occasions. That is topic to: Crediting Africa Test within the byline, retaining all hyperlinks to the sources used and including this sentence on the finish of your publication: “This report was written by Africa Test, a non-partisan fact-checking organisation. View the unique piece on their web site”, with a hyperlink again to this web page.