For a long time, the world has known Africa as a continent that grapples majorly with challenges related to food security but truth be told, there are more depressing difficulties the continent is facing.
Lifestyle-related diseases are on the rise in Africa and it is slowly wretching havoc as deaths recorded as a result of this lifestyle related illness is on a fast rise. Specifically, obesity rates are rapidly increasing in the African Region.
South Africa is among countries which have recorded the highest number of obesity cases.
New statistics published by Discovery Vitality has shown that more South Africans are overweight compared to the global average.
“The big picture is worse in South Africa. Nearly 70 percent of South African women and 31 percent of South African men are overweight or obese,” said Dr. Craig Nossel, head of Wellness at Vitality.
More alarmingly, the report showed that 13 percent of children in South Africa are overweight, a figure which is twice the global average.
Dr. Craig highlighted that unhealthy diets cause so many deaths annually across the world adding that diet improvement could prevent 1 in 5 deaths.
“And we are eating the wrong types of food. In high-income countries, 50 percent of the kilojoule intake comes from ultra-processed foods and drinks. South Africans are eating twice the amount of sugar recommended (6 to 12 tsp a day),” he said.
It has emerged that South Africans spend staggering ZAR 41 Bn every year on fast foods and more worryingly, 82 percent of teenagers are consuming these fast foods at least once a week.
South Africa continues to record rapid urbanization and as these towns develop to be more urban, people take up more fast foods and sugary drinks.
The findings of the survey correspond with a similar report which found South Africa as the most unhealthy country in the world. The survey which was carried out by Indigo Wellness Index ranked SA as the most unhealthy out of 191 countries they featured in the report.
The survey also found women as the most affected with 68 percent of them aged 15 years and above being overweight or obese.
Featured Image Courtesy: Wikipedia