A popular quote says “Health is wealth” but we have come to the realization that these days, the quote is not quite so true in the environment as it is in humans. According to an intense study carried out by a bunch of intelligent people, some cities of South Africa have a larger number of unhealthy residents than others and yet these cities are growing in wealth and fame and basking in the full glory of their unhealthiness.
Glance through this write-up and see for yourself why it is so. We recommend you make adjustments after going through this so that statistics does not put you down among the unhealthy residents of the unhealthiest cities in South Africa.
Based on the latest report, the least healthy people in South Africa live in Bloemfontein while the healthiest South Africans live in Cape Town. In addition to this, Discovery Vitality Obesity Index says the least healthy people, when weight status and other related factors are considered, live in Bloemfontein. Also, according to discovery, more than 60% of South African women are overweight/obese (which is double the global average) making South Africa one of the world’s most overweight nations. This is as a result of several factors associated with changes in diet, physical activity levels, work, home, and community environments.
The results of the Obesity Index are disturbing and is another unpleasant reminder that we are going in the wrong direction as a nation. Dr Craig Nossel, head of Vitality Wellness at Discovery recommends that research of this kind should move us from awareness to action. In addition to this, Professor Marjanne Senekal, head of human nutrition at University of Cape Town urges the Policymakers, retailers, restaurants, the community in general, workplaces, parents, and school tuck shops, to rise to the challenge of making sure that healthy food choices are available in large quantities in our environments, and also aim at making good food a constant choice rather than consuming fast unhealthy food all the time.
The Obesity Index, created by Discovery Vitality along with experts in obesity and nutrition from leading South African academic institutions, makes use of information from the weight status and health habits elicited from Vitality members in the cities of; Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, and Pretoria.
It weighs up the Vitality of members, makes a graphical or other representation of information and also records in the quantified form, the weight status, food and beverage choices, physical activity, psychological well-being and reveals which cities have the highest healthy residents living in it.
Ranking of South Africa’s Unhealthiest Cities
According to a report, Bloemfontein has the least healthy weight status, the least healthy South Africans, the lowest scores for fruits and vegetable intake and also, the highest consumption of sugary drinks and salty foods. More so, Bloemfontein is also the second lowest for physical activity. It’s as though the residents of Bloemfontein do not want anything that will stress them in any way, even when it is good for their health. So the residents here are considered the least healthy.
This city does alright in the weight status category. Coming in at the fifth position generally. But Vitality members here have scored highest for adding fat to the food they take. Pretorians have the lowest score for sleep quality along with the lowest score in physical activity; They spend most of their time sitting and a small amount of time exercising. Makes you wonder if they do not know that fat + no exercise is a bad combo.
3. Port Elizabeth
Port Elizabeth came third generally. However, the city ranked joint second in the physical activity category, which showed that people living in Port Elizabeth are relatively active in terms of exercise and are sitting less than most of the other cities. Nevertheless, Port Elizabeth came in second lowest for weight status, and food and beverage choices. So it has been estimated that with an increase in the consumption of fruits and vegetables, the ranking of Port Elizabeth might still come up.
Generally, the city of Durban came in at fourth. Durbanites ranked second with Port Elizabeth in the physical activity category (which includes sitting time) but ranked third for physical activity particularly. This also shows that the residents are relatively participating in physical exercise. Durban was downgraded by its score in food and beverage choices. A report shows that Durbanites take low fruits and vegetables, add sugar to coffee and also add fat to food. Bad combination.
This is the second best city generally. Based on the report, Jozi residents have the best weight status score when compared to people in the other cities. Residents of Johannesburg have the best BMI, waist circumference, body fat percentage, and waist to height ratio scores. Joburgers also have the second-best score for healthy feeding along with being the least likely to add sugar to coffee and tea and most likely to choose whole grains. Nonetheless, they spend most of their time sitting and least of their time in exercise.
6. Cape Town:
Cape Town scored the highest generally, with the best category scores for food and beverage choices, physical activity, psychological well-being, and second only to Johannesburg in weight status. In spite of the fact that Cape Town Vitality members had the best score for fruit and vegetable intake and second best for adding fat to food and adding sugar to tea and coffee, these scores are still in the low range and need a wide range of improvement. Cape-Tonians are advised to avoid sitting for long periods of time, as sitting time is one of the many things that downgraded the city’s scores.
Note that this ObeCity Index is the result of data elicited from just under 170,000 Discovery Vitality members above the age of 18 years, who completed a Vitality Health Review in 2013.
With this, we hope you can identify where your lifestyle is unhealthy and try to correct it because when it comes to humans, Health is actually wealth.