Obesity is a health risk
With National Obesity Week being observed from 15 – 19 October, the Western Cape Government Health is encouraging people to become aware of the risks associated with the condition, and to advocate for healthy lifestyles. The World Health Organisation reports that more than half of adults in South Africa are overweight or obese. According to the South African National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2012), 43% of Western Cape men are overweight or obese, and 62.4% of women are overweight or obese. The majority of obesity cases are under the age of 45, and between the ages of 45 and 54.
Unhealthy diets, lack of exercise, lack of knowledge, and inappropriate feeding practices in childhood are some of the factors that can lead to overweight and obesity. Knowing your body mass index can help you and your doctor to determine how much weight you need to lose, and what health conditions or risks you already have.
Nicolette Fredericks, a dietitian at Tygerberg Hospital says obesity and overweight can be defined as excessive fat accumulation that can present a risk to health. “Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for development of diseases of lifestyle like heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and certain types of cancer. It is not always easy to embark on the weight loss journey. However, it is not impossible. Changing the way in which we think about food and firm commitment to change can be a good start,” explains Fredericks.