A nation of the hungry and obese

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

South Africa is heading for a health disaster: more than half the population is living in hunger or at risk of it, while a large percentage of the rest are obese or at risk of developing poor lifestyle-related illnesses.

And more people in their twenties are prone to diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.

These are some of the startling findings of an extensive health and nutrition study conducted by the Human Sciences Research Council and Medical Research Council.

Details of the South African National Health and Nutritional and Examination Survey are given in a 400-page report.

The survey was undertaken to verify the health and nutritional status of the nation, looking at food security and dietary intake, among other factors.

It also investigated perceptions of health and health-care services, and behavioural and social determinants of health and nutrition such as smoking, diet and physical inactivity.

About 25 500 people were interviewed. Of these, 12 000 had physical examinations and were screened by medical practitioners, while 8 000 participants provided blood samples for biomarker testing (used to screen for or monitor disease).

Source: iOL (link opens in a new window)

Health Care