Two-thirds of women in South Africa are overweight or obese…Our preschool children are among the fattest in the world…And a quarter of adults eat too much sugar and fat… Yet, we think we are healthy, TimesLive reports.
That’s according to research conducted by the Human Sciences Research Council and the Medical Research Council. The study was aimed at investigating the ‘emerging epidemic of non-infectious or non-communicable [lifestyle] disease’ and evaluate the state of health in South Africa.
Poor eating habits, sleep deprivation and inactive lifestyles have all been linked to the rise in lifestyle diseases
Lifestyle diseases such as type II diabetes, hypertension, strokes, certain types of cancer and heart disease are a huge burden to South Africa’s medical system and they’ll continue to be in the years to come, reports Health 24.
So it’s no surprise then that, according to TimesLive, that out of the more than 25,000 people were surveyed last year, from 8,078 of them had ‘biomarkers’ of these diseases.
Here are some of the key findings outlined in the TimesLive report:
While lifestyle diseases are on the rise, the good news is you can do something about them if you take steps to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Here’s what you can do to stay healthy
According to the MayoClinic, physical activity doesn’t need to be complicated. Something as simple as a daily brisk walk for just 30 minutes can help you live a healthier life.
While the general goal is to aim for 30 minutes of walking, it’s OK to start slowly especially if you haven’t been exercising regularly. You might start with five minutes a day the first week and then increase your time by five minutes each week until you reach at least 30 minutes.
In addition to daily walks, it’s important to also take steps to eat a balanced diet and get enough sleep. Make an effort to lead a healthy lifestyle starting today to avoid serious health conditions later on.