Supermarket buyers have a higher prevalence of lifestyle diseases.
The study was conducted in three Kenyan towns and it was revealed that consumption of supermarket foods increased the chances of being obese by 20 percent while the chances of being diabetic increased by 16 percent.
According to the study, Kenyans that purchased food from supermarkets consumed higher quantities of processed foods such as soft drinks as well as loads of fats and oils and consumed significantly lower quantities of vegetables and unprocessed grains.
This could be attributed to the fact that small town rarely stock up on vegetables and fresh fruits.
“These difference in diets may contribute to increased overweight and obesity among supermarket buyers and thus also to a higher prevalence of lifestyle diseases,” as quoted by The Standard.
The study was conducted in two phases with the first one being in 2012 and the other in 2015.
Overweight prevalence within the three year period of their studies increased from 27 percent to 32 percent. The rates of obesity hiked from 14 percent to 22 percent.
The first study conducted in 2012 had 831 participants from Ol Kalou and Njabini in Nyandarua County and Mwea in Kirinyaga County.
“We chose Central Kenya because it has the second highest prevalence of overweight and obesity rates in Kenya after Nairobi,” read the 2015 study published in 2015 in the Journal of Public Health Nutrition.
The data was collected based on the types of foods consumed and where they were bought.
Body measurements were also conducted to determine the risk one has to certain diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, gallstones, arthritis and some forms of cancer.
The measurements taken included weight, height, waist and hip circumference, blood pressure.
The study, titled Supermarket Purchase Contributes to Nutrition-Related Non-Communicable Disease in Urban Kenya, appeared in the scientific Journal Plos One.