The business of weight loss in Kenya

January 11, 2016
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The weight loss industry around the world seems to be booming at the expense of people such as Wanja. Kenya has not been left behind/FILE
The weight loss industry around the world seems to be booming at the expense of people such as Wanja. Kenya has not been left behind/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 11 – At midnight on December 31, 2015 Jasmine Wanja, a 33-year-old Nairobi resident made a resolution – to lose weight in any way possible.

The mother of two weighs 105 kilos, up 40kgs from what she weighed seven years ago.

“Those were probably the happiest days of my life. I was slim and shapely. I had confidence in my looks,” Wanja tells me as we explore methods people use to lose weight in Kenya, especially in Nairobi.

Admittedly, Wanja says she is willing to do almost anything to change how she looks. Past efforts like watching what she eats, eating at the right time and doing exercises such as taking the stairs and doing jumping jacks on Saturday morning have not borne any fruits.

“My husband has expressed his concern to me. He enjoys swimming but does not take me with him anymore because he knows I will decline going with him. There is no way I will put on a bikini and walk around with the amount of fat rolls on my stomach, when there are slim women around us,” she tells me as she fiddles with her fingers.

Wanja’s case is not unique. The resolve to lose weight in the New Year is made by millions of people around the world. According to Detail.com, in the US alone, weight loss topped the resolutions made at 45 percent. Although there is no available data, there are indications that the weight-loss resolution is among the most made in Kenya.

This ‘desperation’ to lose weight has largely been fuelled by media that has for a long time illustrated what people – especially women- should look like; slim and shapely.

“I am therefore willing to do anything and everything to get that shapely body,” Wanja tells me.

It has also been driven by the desire to stay healthy in the midst of sedentary lifestyles that urbanites are currently living.

The weight loss industry around the world seems to be booming at the expense of people such as Wanja. Kenya has not been left behind.

I hit the streets of Nairobi to find out what options the industry is offering Wanja and anyone else who wants to lose weight.

Technology at work

Ever heard of companies such as Body Couture?

If you are chubby and want to loss it quickly, Body Couture is willing to help. The company gives you options such as electrical muscle stimulation which involves thirty minutes of electrotherapy.

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