It was alarming, but not unexpected, to hear South Africa has the highest obesity rate in sub-Saharan Africa.
Statistics revealed 40% of women and 11% of men in South Africa are obese, while 69% of women and 39% of men are overweight.
Obesity increases the likelihood of developing a wide range of noncommittal diseases, which also leads to the possibility of infectious diseases and mental health illness. Lack of exercise and poor eating habits do not help.
Obesity leads to diseases like cancer, hypertension and diabetes.
Poorer communities are harder hit because cheaper and processed foods is the norm.
Head of Healthy Living Alliance Lawrence Mbalati said the sugar tax was the key to reducing obesity.
Mbalati said: “The government can protect the health of all South Africans by using policy to create a healthier food environment.
“The health promotion levy is one such tool. It has incentivised manufacturers to reformulate their products to make them healthier.”
We need to be more disciplined when it comes to eating habits. While many lay the blame at government for not doing enough to curb obesity, every person needs to take responsibility for their health. These statistics are a timely warning that we need to eat healthier.
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