Left, Entente: Alain St Ange, Right, Manifesto: Patrick Pillay
13th February 2020
With the Presidential elections entering a new phase, Seychelles Life was keen to hear what the opposition candidates have to say. President Danny Faure wants to stay in office and is standing as... more...
Lewis Betsy: It’s time for a Mini Convention
24th January 2020
By Lewis Betsy I have just returned to the United Kingdom after a brief time in my homeland and I now realise we have to do something swiftly to save our beautiful group of islands.Last week, thr... more...
Campaign chief: Julia Morin, Chairperson of Preserve Seychelles
24th January 2020
Julia Morin is the new head of the environmental campaign group Preserve Seychelles. Its main objectives are to maintain the Seychelles territory as a military-free zone and to protect the natural res... more...
Testimony: Lewis Betsy gives his account to the Truth, Reconciliation and National Unity Commission
17th December 2019
By Lewis BetsyFor me, 2019 represented a new beginning in Seychelles and now I want to see the nation head towards a fresh start in 2020.To that end I am determined to take on a more personal role to ... more...
Paying their respects: Family and friends at the memorial Mass for Gerard
4th December 2019
 The memory of Gerard Hoarau was honoured at a special mass organised in the United Kingdom.Family and friends paid tribute to the bravery and patriotism of the exiled Seychelles politician who w... more...
Campaign: Alain St.Ange launches his party, One Seychelles
26th November 2019
It has been a tumultuous time for Alain St.Ange, leader of the opposition party One Seychelles. The former Minister has won a lengthy legal battle against the Seychelles government after it had abrupt... more...
Gerard Hoarau: He aimed to restore liberty and fairness to Seychelles
8th November 2019
By Lewis Betsy The dreadful day of 29th November 1985 is one I will always remember.It was a Friday morning, around 11.15, when I received a phone call from a man with an Irish accent. He told me... more...
Gerard Hoarau
17th October 2019
By Lewis Betsy Seychellois in the United Kingdom will once again have the opportunity to honour the memory of a hero of democracy, Gerard Hoarau.Tributes to him – and to other Seychellois w... more...

Obesity, the huge Western crisis now threatening the health of people in Seychelles

17th October 2014

Big problem: Obesity is affecting more people in Seychelles
Big problem: Obesity is affecting more people in Seychelles

By John Lablache

Though among the smallest islands in the world, a thousand miles from anywhere, Seychelles' health pattern is more similar to those of large Western countries.

Over the past couple of decades, obesity has become a major concern and is closely linked to the three main death causes; diabetes, cardio vascular diseases and cancer.

Obesity is largely blamed on improper eating habits of Seychellois, especially the younger generation who prefer eating fast foods, notably chips or fries, burgers, and tinned food, rather than fish and vegetables as was the case for their forefathers.

The prevalence of diabetes and obesity were assessed from a sample of 1078 individuals living on Mahe in 2007.

It was five-fold higher in women – 21 per cent , compared to men – 4.2 per cent.

In women, it increased from 8.9 per cent in the age category 25-34 to 29.4 per cent in the  35-44 age range before levelling thereafter.

Prevalence of diabetes increased markedly with age: from .0.8per cent at age 25-34 to 8.8 per cent and 13.4 per cent at age 55-64 in men and women respectively.

Male life expectancy, according to the Seychelles Health Ministry, is pegged at 68 years for women, while for women , it stands at 78 years.

About 20 per cent of mortality in Seychelles is caused by cancer and research has shown  that many types are more common in people who are overweight or obese.

These include cancer of the breast (especially after menopause) cervix, oesophageal (food pipe), pancreatic, kidney, gall bladder, colon and rectum. The list includes two of the commonest types of cancer: breast and bowel and three of the hardest to treat : pancreatic, oesophagal and gall bladder.

Being overweight can increase the risk of cancer because fat tissues in the body produce hormones which are growth factors that can affect the way our cells work.

When people are overweight and obese, there is much more insulin present in the body. It is not clear how this can lead to cancer, although high insulin levels are a common factor in many cancers.

The alarming situation had prompted Miss Seychelles 2014 to launch a campaign to curb obesity, especially among children.

Camila Estico said: “I will sensitise people on obesity problems and the risks that the condition poses to their health, by engaging in education campaigns  to minimize tendencies of unhealthy living.”

Camila, who keeps a healthy diet regime and eats local products, has put time and effort into the issue and sought support from everyone during organised visits to private business and state institutions.

Dr Danny Louange, the deputy CEO of  Seychelles Health Agency, also blames bad diet for the islands' worsening health problems.

In 1994, there were just four patients suffering from kidney failure and requiring chemo- dialysis. In 2014, there are more than 100, with 17 new patients  this year.

He said: “There are unhealthy eating habits, such as abuse of carbohydrates and sweet foods, which cause the sugar level to go up. There is also a tendency to consume more fast foods with a high content of preservatives. And for many people, there is also abuse of alcohol, which affects vital organs.”

Orthopaedics also blame obesity for spinal problems, including lower back pains. In recent years, the number of Seychellois suffering from bad lower backs and requiring surgery has increased significantly.

“It has long been known that a rise in body weight results in a geometric increase in the pressure on the spine. This causes a wearing away of the spinal discs' outer fibres, increasing the risk of injury,” said a local orthopaedic expert.

He adds that adults aren't the only ones at risk, either. Obesity also affects the health of children's joints. So, encouraging children to be active and achieve or maintain an appropriate body weight for their age and height may go a long way toward helping them to avoid such ailments as arthritis later in life.

According to Dr Louange , the good news is that small changes to lifestyle can lead to a reduction in bodyweight. He suggested sticking to a more balanced diet, free of carbohydrates and fats and going for regular exercise.

“The day-to-day choices we make about our lifestyle have the greatest effect on our weight and health,” he said.

Latest News

Bribes, bickering, mud-slinging – Presidential candidates talk candidly to Seychelles Life about their battles… and their hopes
13th February 2020
Left, Entente: Alain St Ange, Right, Manifesto: Patrick Pillay
With the Presidential elections entering a new phase, Seychelles Life was keen to hear what the… more...
We must overcome the heartbreak of the past to band together for a brighter future for Seychelles
24th January 2020
Lewis Betsy: It’s time for a Mini Convention
By Lewis Betsy I have just returned to the United Kingdom after a brief time in my homeland… more...
We need to stand together as a nation to defend our territory, says campaign group
24th January 2020
Campaign chief: Julia Morin, Chairperson of Preserve Seychelles
Julia Morin is the new head of the environmental campaign group Preserve Seychelles. Its main objectives… more...
Let 2020 be the year of real unity in Seychelles
17th December 2019
Testimony: Lewis Betsy gives his account to the Truth, Reconciliation and National Unity Commission
By Lewis BetsyFor me, 2019 represented a new beginning in Seychelles and now I want to see the nation… more...
Gerard Hoarau, the Seychelles hero 'whose only crime was to campaign for the return of freedom'
4th December 2019
Paying their respects: Family and friends at the memorial Mass for Gerard
 The memory of Gerard Hoarau was honoured at a special mass organised in the United Kingdom.Family… more...
I didn't give in despite my career being destroyed and now I want to make sure my party brings about change by winning too, says Alain St.Ange
26th November 2019
Campaign: Alain St.Ange launches his party, One Seychelles
It has been a tumultuous time for Alain St.Ange, leader of the opposition party One Seychelles.… more...
How I remember and, after 34 years, still mourn for my close friend Gerard Hoarau
8th November 2019
Gerard Hoarau: He aimed to restore liberty and fairness to Seychelles
By Lewis Betsy The dreadful day of 29th November 1985 is one I will always remember.It was… more...
Seychelles hero Gerard Hoarau to be remembered in Mass
17th October 2019
Gerard Hoarau
By Lewis Betsy Seychellois in the United Kingdom will once again have the opportunity to honour… more...
February's News
News Archive