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Brunel research to determine Ghana's policy direction on obesity

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The first-ever stakeholder engagement on obesity in Ghana has taken place in Accra (Ghana) under the auspices of the Office of the Ghanaian President and Brunel Global Health Academy.

The 1-day workshop, the first of its kind to use a multi-sectoral approach, set out to understand the policy architecture and decision-making context around obesity management and prevention in Ghana. It was attended by 55 stakeholders from multiple sectors in Ghana.

Mr Kingsley Agyemang, a doctoral researcher with Brunel Global Health Academy and the Department of Clinical Sciences, Brunel University London, led the event. Mr Agyemang’s doctoral research explores the multi-level determinants of obesity in Ghana, and it is supervised by Dr Nana Anokye, and Professors Subhash Pokhrel and Christina Victor.

‘With four out of ten Ghanaians found to be obese, there is a need to promote the design of policy relevant and context-specific interventions as effective tools to reduce obesity rates in Ghana” stated Mr Agyemang.  He cited a plethora of health concerns that accompany obesity, including heart attacks, diabetes, cancer and lower back pain, all of which carry enormous economic burden.  

Speaking at the event, the presidential advisor on health matters in Ghana, Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare, said ‘the findings of this research will be used to determine Ghana’s policy direction on obesity’.

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‘To date, there is paucity of evidence on the contextual factors causing the rise of obesity in Ghana. This doctoral research will address the gap in knowledge and inform the design of appropriate interventions’ stated Dr Nana Anokye, Convenor of Brunel Public Health Academy and Director of Division of Health Sciences.

The workshop is the first in the series of three workshops to be held between December 2019 and January 2022.