Obesity and overweight have assumed epidemic proportions in Africa: 42% of adults are overweight or obese. This epidemic has not spared children and adolescents, and 20% to 25% are affected by overweight or obesity.
Consequences include an increase in the risk of asthma, type-2 diabetes, sleep apnea, heart disease, musculoskeletal disorders, and low self-esteem. In addition, children who are overweight have a higher risk of being overweight or obese as adults. For the first time, life expectancy may be lower for one generation than for the previous one.
AHO produced the Plan of Action for the Prevention of Obesity and Overweight in Children and Adolescents. This plan adopts a preventive, multi-sectorial and life-course approach, and considers the social determinants of health. It aims at promoting an environment that is conducive to healthy eating and physical activity, and making the healthier option the easier option. To support countries in the fight against obesity, AHO provides technical guidelines and cooperation, advocates for programs and policies, and fosters collaboration among countries.