The dangers of obesity

In South Africa, National Obesity Week is from 15 to 19 October. This means that during this time, we as a nation need to put the dangers of obesity in the spotlight.

Did you know? South Africa has the highest overweight and obesity rate in sub-Saharan Africa. Up to 70% of our women and a third of our men are classified as overweight or obese! Of this figure, a whopping 40% of women are obese.

Obesity causes serious diseases

Obesity is life-threatening and can be the cause of these dreaded diseases:

•           Type 2 diabetes

•           Heart disease

•           Stroke

•           Hypertension (high blood pressure)

•           Cancer

Our lifestyle is to blame

The CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Dr Vash Mungal-Singh, says our lifestyles are largely to blame and that South Africans eat too much, drink too much alcohol, and are too inactive.

Here is why obesity is rampant in South Africa:

1.      Increased urbanisation – When people move into the city, they tend to eat a diet which is high in unhealthy fats, sugar and salt.

2.      Greater disposable income – People spend more money eating at restaurants.

3.      Fast-paced lifestyles – Fast food and convenience foods are easily and quickly consumed while people are on the move.

4.      Increased inactivity – South Africans are becoming lazy; the problem starts in childhood and continues into adulthood.

These are some of the factors that indicate an extremely high-risk category of obesity:

·      High blood pressure (hypertension)

·      High LDL-cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol)

·      Low HDL-cholesterol (“good” cholesterol)

·      High blood glucose (sugar)

·      Physical inactivity

Obesity can easily be treated

Some South Africans perceive their extra weight as a sign of abundance or something to be proud of. But while being overweight might be good for your reputation, it isn’t good for your life. In fact, it is dangerous and can shorten your lifespan and cause serious health problems.

But obesity is treatable, and you can follow these three steps to get you to your healthy life:

1.      Get positive and change your mindset.

2.      Get active and reap the rewards of good health.

3.      Get nutritious and eat a healthy diet – contact a Cambridge Weight Plan Consultant today and find out what diet will work best for you.

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