Capetonians buy the healthiest food, Joburgers work out the most and Durbanites have a bit more room for improvement. This is according to the latest “ObecCity Index” by Discovery Health’s lifestyle scheme, Vitality.
“We analysed almost 300,000 Vitality Health Checks completed across South Africa in 2022 to rank the cities according to the proportion of Vitality members who have a healthy weight,” explained Discovery Vitality CEO Dinesh Govender.
The study showed the highest proportion of members with a healthy weight in Cape Town, while Gqeberha was 6th showing the lowest.
With World Obesity day coming up on 4 March, the study’s release paints a sobering picture amid the plight of this global concern.
According to the World Health Organisation, 39% of the global adult population is obese or overweight. In South Africa, the challenge of excess weight continues to weigh heavy. More than half of the adult population being obese or overweight (54%).
Of this figure, 68% are women, 31% are men and children make up a concerning 13% of this category.
Govendar says obesity is a great cause for concern, “the health risks associated with excess weight account for almost three million lives lost worldwide each year”.
Mother City citizens are making good food choices
The ObeCity healthy weight ranking lists the healthiest to least healthy major cities in South Africa:
- Cape Town
The results also ranked the purchasing habits of members according to the percentage of healthy food items purchased in comparison to overall food purchases. Cape Town beat Johannesburg and Durban in healthy food purchases, while those in Pretoria had the least.
However, Johannesburg had the highest percentage of members logging a workout, beating Gqeberha (second) and Cape Town (third) with Bloemfontein members being the least active.
“Globally, research shows good nutrition and physical activity are important for managing weight,” added Govender. “It helps prevent and even manage health conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.”
To enable more people to reach and maintain a healthy weight, Vitality is launching the Vitality HealthyWeight programme. A fully-personalised digital weight-management programme that will offer its members direct access to a dietitian via WhatsApp, with meal plans, recipes, shopping lists and personalised support five days a week – starting from R250.
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