In the wake of National Obesity week, South Africa was declared the third fattest nation on earth, according to food services company Compass Group Southern Africa.

National Obesity Week runs from October 15 – 19

Obesity Week aims to increase awareness about the impact of obesity on the lives of South Africans. A chronic medical condition, obesity is caused by too much body fat. Most health care providers agree that men with more than 25 percent body fat and women with more than 30 percent body fat are obese.

BMI is also another indicator

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BMI (Body Mass Index) uses a mathematical formula based on a person’s height and weight. BMI is equal to weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. A BMI of 25 to 29,9 indicates a person is overweight. A person with a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.

Studies on South Africa

A survey run by Glaxo Smith Kline in 2010 showed that 61% of South Africans population are overweight or morbidly obese.This mirrors the findings of a study done by the Medical Research Council in 2007 which found that 56% of adult women and 29% of adult men in SA were overweight or obese.

The health dangers of obesity

Obesity is characterised by an increase in fat cells and can lead to a number of health consequences including diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke, pulmonary disease, reproductive disorders, osteoarthritis, and cancer, among others.

What causes obesity?

Generally, obesity is caused by a combination of eating too much and exercising too little, and occurs over time when more kilojoules are consumed than what are burned. Other factors such as genetics and hormones may also be a factor.

Eat well and exercise

Obesity need not be a death sentence – with commitment to a lifestyle change, including a good exercise regimen and proper nutrition, it can be overcome. Have a look through our health articles for tips on how to manage your weight and stay healthy!  

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.