Fast food industry is one of the world’s fastest growing sectors in food industry. Over a period of time, however, with a growth in the number of nuclear families, economic growth and globalization, the fast food culture has gained prominence in most parts of the world.
The World Health Organization (WHO) labelled childhood obesity as one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. In 2010, according to WHO, an estimated 42 million children under five years old were overweight, and the figure is rising at an alarming rate. This has been largely attributed to the increasing popularity of fad diets.
Due to the increasing popularity of junk diets, the traditional recipes are taking a backseat in South Africa as well.
A new global health ranking has identified the world’s healthiest and most unhealthy countries in 2019. The Indigo Wellness Index which was compiled and led by Richard Davies. The report is one of the most comprehensive covering 191 countries globally. The report ranked South Africa as the most unhealthy country on earth, while Canada came out as the most healthy country.
The Index created a series of rankings is based on 10 key measures. The measures were depression healthy life expectancy, blood pressure, blood glucose (diabetes risk), obesity, happiness, alcohol use, tobacco use, inactivity (too little exercise), and government spending on healthcare.
The Indigo Wellness Index compiled by Richard Davies at economics consultancy Bloomsbury Economics calculated a ratio to asses how close each country was to the best score overall – the worst score being 0, while the best score was 1.
The health organisation showed that South Africans had a 26% chance of dying from cardiovascular diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and chronic respiratory diseases between the ages of 30 and 70.
The organisation also found that more than 28 percent of adults were obese the highest obesity rate among sub-Saharan African countries. A WHO study also ranked SA as the country with the highest obesity rates, with Botswana coming second with an obesity rate of 18.9%.
The outcome of this report statistics is also in line with a survey released by Stats SA in the same year which estimated that 68 percent of women aged 15 years and older were overweight or obese. By comparison, just 31 percent of men were overweight or obese. The ongoing battle between junk foods and raw foods is becoming more challenging as life becomes more expensive. Most people tend to opt for junk food because it’s way much cheaper than traditional foods. Dwellers in urban regions especially take a lot of junk food because of its convenient: it is cheaper and readily available.
Even as deaths from lifestyle-related diseases continue increase, new fast food franchises are popping up all over every single day. It has been reported that the fast food industry is growing at a rate of 2.5% per year.
Featured Image Courtesy: NBC News
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