Speaking of Africa rising, this link came across my Twitter recently and led to a lively discussion with Rachael. (Besides, we’ve been wondering if all the zebra we keep seeing are pregnant or just getting bigger. Yet of course, no matter how big they get, the elephants can still disappear into the bush like the one we saw last week above.)
The article link: “Africa Widening” | Think Africa Press
Think Africa Press pulls together news and info from several other publications, so there are a lot outbound links in the article that go to other sources. But here are two facts from the article:
- “The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that by 2030, nearly one-fifth of African adults will be obese.”
- HIV/AIDS is the biggest cause of death in South Africa. Cardiovascular disease is the second biggest. (says Ama deGraft Aikins of University of Ghana)
And a quote:
“The problem in Africa is [that] both under- and over-nutrition are the worst in the world. We really are facing a double burden.” – Hester Vorster from the Centre for Excellence in Nutrition at North-West University, South Africa
Though this over-nutrition is primarily an urban problem (and we certainly are seeing more and more obese Swazis in our times out and about in the cities here), it still begs some answers: Is there something ACC should be doing to look ahead on this and ensure our students are ready to face this and make healthy choices? If so, what do we do?
I think the answer includes some teaching on nutrition and some good modeling. But I quickly see two challenges to these strategies:
What nutritional learning is going to be most helpful and relevant (African diet is VERY different than my diet)?
And, are we willing to take on the extra burden (of financial cost and increased complaints) of providing more nutritious meals that rely less on starch as the main staple of the meal?
Another alternative could be getting them to like our tasty and healthy macadamia nuts. The challenge there is that we leave very little of those behind for us to enjoy on campus!
What’s the important take-away from this growing crisis that we need to focus on for our students? How do we do it?