South Africans are making poor food choices and obesity is at an all time high

South Africa is grappling with obesity.

Professor Vishwas Satgar, chairperson of the board of the Co-operative and Policy Alternative Centre (COPAC) says alongside Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV, South Africa tops the Sub-Saharan Africa charts of obesity. He says at least 70% of women and a third of men are considered obese.

We also have a serious challenge amongst younger children between 6 and 14 years, one in four girls and one in five boys are obese explains Satgar.

It's a very serious challenge for our society and creates a host of serious health problems, ranging from diabetes, blood pressure and other heart disorders.

Professor Vishwas Satgar, chairperson of the board of the Co-operative and Policy Alternative Centre

Clinical nutritionist and founder of the Re~Invent Company Nicci Robertson notes that there is a lot more to the subject and crisis of obesity.

It started about three decades ago when the food manufacturing industry decided that selling products was far more important than what was in the product, says Robertson.

She further elaborates that the way food is designed is another factor that has led to the increase in unhealthy food.

We think we should go on a diet to lose weight. Anyone that's been on a diet will tell you that they don't work. So there's so much trick nonsense out there and it is selling false hope.

Nicci Robertson, Clinical Nutritionist and founder of the Re~Invent Company

Robertson says we have to look at why we want sugar, why we want bad fats and quick fixes. She adds that our relationship to food isn't what it should be.

Food is communication to your cells. When you produce or process the food, you change the chemical structure of the food, therefore changing your neurological relationship to that food leading to addiction. Sugar works in the same pathways in the brain as heroin.

Nicci Robertson, Clinical Nutritionist and founder of the Re~Invent Company

Satgar chimes in to say that in the South African context we cannot let apartheid off the hook but also says we cannot be fixated on that specific part of the problem. He uses single sex male hostels in that era as an example and how certain food diets were imposed on some.

Its the power of marketing prevailing in these spaces.

Professor Vishwas Satgar, chairperson of the board of the Co-operative and Policy Alternative Centre

To hear the rest of the interview, listen below:


This article first appeared on 702 : South Africans are making poor food choices and obesity is at an all time high


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI

CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
Opening up the streets for kids to play safely and freely

Opening up the streets for kids to play safely and freely

Open Streets Initiative draws on research that street play - often lost due to parents' fear and anxiety - is beneficial to kids.

Sugar tax get growing supports from SA citizens

Sugar tax get growing supports from SA citizens

A study conducted by Healthy Living Alliance found that the number of people supporting the sugar tax has grown significantly.

Here's what's contributing to the decline in sperm count of men around the world

Here's what's contributing to the decline in sperm count of men around the world

Urologist Dr Shingai Mutambirwa explains that the both sperm count and quality of sperm are important in fertility.

News quiz crossword 28 July

News quiz crossword 28 July

A 10 word news crossword of stories we covered in the last week. Can you solve it?

South African obesity rate on the rise

South African obesity rate on the rise

Dr Ian Westmore shares insights on why SA's obesity rates are increasing.

Are you overweight? You are at risk of mental illness

Are you overweight? You are at risk of mental illness

Dr Ian Westmore discusses the link between obesity and mental illness. He says obesity is a risk factor for mental health problems

Tim Noakes stands by Banting diet (with a few modifications)

Tim Noakes stands by Banting diet (with a few modifications)

Banting guru Dr Tim Noakes chats to John Maytham about how the low carb high-fat diet really works.

Food and beverage industry gets sweetened deal with tax relief

Food and beverage industry gets sweetened deal with tax relief

National Treasury revised the proposed tax on sugary beverages after deliberations with health experts, industry representatives.

Cosatu: Sugar tax must be a part of a broader health plan

Cosatu: Sugar tax must be a part of a broader health plan

Cosatu says that government's health intervention plan using sugar tax is lacking and want details on more comprehensive measures.

'We need regulation; We need a sugar tax', says Health sociologist

'We need regulation; We need a sugar tax', says Health sociologist

Health sociologist and researcher at Wits, Aviva Tugendhaft debates the public health benefit of imposing a sugar tax in SA.

Popular articles
'Basetsana Kumalo explained to me that this was the worst week of her life'

'Basetsana Kumalo explained to me that this was the worst week of her life'

Social Media Law Expert, Emma Sadleir, says the Randburg court has issued a protection order for the Kumalo's.

A third Metrorail train goes up in flames in less than a month

A third Metrorail train goes up in flames in less than a month

Regional manager, Richard Walker, says there's an indication of arson in all three incidents but the motive is still not clear.

'Cyril Ramaphosa is the weakest president of the ANC since 1994' - analyst

'Cyril Ramaphosa is the weakest president of the ANC since 1994' - analyst

Political analyst Prince Mashele talks about the ANC NEC meeting contradicting messages stemming from this.

Max du Preez opens up about money (and losing everything on Vrye Weekblad)

Max du Preez opens up about money (and losing everything on Vrye Weekblad)

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews the famed and fearless journalist about his money history, hopes and beliefs.

2 best companies on the JSE to invest in now (by Nefg Fund Managers)

2 best companies on the JSE to invest in now (by Nefg Fund Managers)

Not sure which shares to buy? Bruce Whitfield interviews Gerbrand Smit, Chief Investment Officer at Nefg Fund Managers.

Malema under fire after 'Indians are racist' comment

Malema under fire after 'Indians are racist' comment

SA Institute of Race Relations media head Micheal Morris says politicians must be cautious of such divisive statements they make.

[WATCH] Eusebius Mckaiser: I call BS on Malema's racism targeting Indians

[WATCH] Eusebius Mckaiser: I call BS on Malema's racism targeting Indians

Show host Eusebius McKaiser says EFF's leader Julius Malema's comments on Indians are grossly unacceptable and irresponsible.

Here's how to check your load shedding schedule in Cape Town

Here's how to check your load shedding schedule in Cape Town

Stage 1 load s​hedding has been declared nationally. The City of Cape Town has urged residents to take note of the schedules.

Man who dumped body of family dog in street demoted at top JHB law firm

Man who dumped body of family dog in street demoted at top JHB law firm

Media law guru Emma Sadleir warns employees online that there are many potential events that could bring a company into disrepute.