APPROXIMATELY 400 000 MAURITIANS ARE OBESE, IN AN ISLAND THAT COUNTS 1.2 MILLION INHABITANTS

Everything seems to indicate that Mauritians aren’t really fans of a healthy lifestyle. Our culinary staples are themselves heavily loaded in processed oil and fat, our eating habits don’t seem to improve despite extensive campaigns conducted by the Health Minister and the prevalence of diabetes in our society is a dire sign that something must be done to sensitize Mauritians on their unhealthy lifestyle. Moreover, the smoking prevalence among Mauritian men stands at a whopping 40% ! There seems to be a wilful disengagement on the part of health officials to help Mauritians attain a healthy lifestyle. According to a report published by ‘Africa Money’, 139 million premature deaths could be avoided by 2100 in Africa if the countries institute proper health guidelines.

The health sensitization should start at an early age, in primary schools if possible, where teachers should monitor the eating habits of children since childhood obesity can impact a person throughout their life. The government should educate people on the health hazards involved in consuming our culinary staples-the ‘dhal puri’, the ‘gateau de l’huile’, ‘mine bouilli’ et cetera. Just because it’s popular and readily available, doesn’t mean it’s good for your health. There should be health campaigns conducted everywhere to let people know that eating carbs and foods having a high calorific value on a regular basis is a sign of addiction. Indeed, eating foods high in carbs will affect someone’s taste buds to the point where only unhealthy foods are desired.

Obesity in Mauritius

The food industry should be kept in line, in the sense that the number of advertisements they can promulgate should be regulated. It cannot be that in every street corner, KFC or McDonald’s advertisement is brainwashing people into becoming gluttonous zombies. While unhealthy foods such as the dhol puri are cheaper and more readily available than a healthy meal in a restaurant, the crux of this debate should be about the longevity of our population rather than the price of meals. The health of a population is very important since the working force comprises of the lifeblood of our country-its people.

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