2016 World Obesity Day's focus is on childhood obesity. The Department of Health is deeply concerned about the growing obesity rate in the country and urges all South Africans to adopt healthier lifestyles.
According to statistics, obesity rates in South Africa are increasing rapidly, with almost 70% of women and 40% of men either overweight or obese. Furthermore, reports show one in four girls and one in five boys between the ages of 2 and 14 years are overweight or obese while obesity -related diseases such as heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers account for 43% of deaths in South Africa. Obesity is one of the top five risk factors for early death.
They include members from the World Health Organisation (WHO), Health Action International (HAI), Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and supply chain management services and have extensive experience working in several countries supporting medicine supply systems. The task team reviewed reports from the Public Service Commission, the Ministerial Task Team on Pharmaceuticals and the Stop Stockouts Reports and recognised that the reasons for medicine unavailability at facilities are varied.
South Africans are among the top 10 consumers of soft drinks in the world. In addition, the market for soft drinks more than doubled from 1998-2012, with 15 to 24-year-olds being high consumers. Sugary drinks have no nutritional value but the average 500ml fizzy drink contains around 10 spoons of sugar.
The government plans to tax sugary drinks according to how much sugar they contain. Research shows that a 20% tax on sugary drinks will reduce obesity by 3,8% in men and 2,4% in women, resulting in 220 000 fewer obese adults. South Africans to take charge of their health and switch from drinking sugary drinks to drinking water.