RISING cases of overweight and obesity in Zambia should be addressed adequately, Civil Society for Scaling Up Nutrition (CSO-SUN) national director William Chilufya has said.
Mr Chilufya said Zambia was today experiencing the double burden of obesity and malnutrition where under-nutrition affects overall growth in children and limits the development of full intellectual and physical potential of children.
He said it would be to the advantage of the country if the new President paid attention to the challenge of nutrition as he settled into office.
“Over-nutrition which causes overweight and obesity has equally adverse effects that lead to non-communicable diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart conditions among others,” he said.
Mr Chilufya attributed the high levels of malnutrition to lack of political will and sustained Government commitment to tackle the scourge.
He appealed to Government to diligently get involved in the fight against malnutrition and raise public awareness of the problem, and increase essential nutrition funding allocations.
Mr Chilufya explained that while Zambia had seen a reduction in stunting rates from 45 percent in 2007 to 40 percent 2013/2014, over-nutrition conditions presented as overweight or obesity were on the rise, with statistics showing 19 percent of the population in Zambia being affected by 2007.
Mr Chilufya said CSO-SUN was looking forward to seeing President Lungu’s immediate direct involvement in nutrition development as it was critical for the success of a healthy nztion.