South Africa’s Urbanisation comes with a Heavy Price

A global obesity pandemic that is eating at the world staggeringly, has shown to be more common in children of Africa that are faced with what the World Health Organisation (WHO) calls “a double burden disease”.
Another unsettling fact is that South Africa is Africa’s fattest Sub Saharan nation. A first of its kind analysis Lancet study carried out by, Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington which was covered 188 countries, revealed that South Africa is the third fattest nation and that 61% of South Africans are obese.
According to WHO 600 million children were obese last year and of that figure, 42 million were children under the age of 5. Since 1990, the amount of children that are obese globally has doubled until current times.
The Lancet study stated: “Overweight or obese children tend to remain overweight or obese to the age of twenty and are exposed to a 1.5 to 2 times higher risk of being obese adults.”
Medical Research Council of South Africa announced that more than 17% of South African children between the ages of one and nine living in urban areas are overweight. The urbanisation of developing countries is a huge underlying source of the high rate that creates such an alarming amount of obesity. The advancement of a country has been impacting negatively on the children of the nation in more ways than one.

There was a time when South African children used to walk to school and return home by foot, but due to many families being able to buy cars, this type of mild exercise has been stopped.
When looking for reasons on social media for this misfortune, many people pointed out the reason for a child being overweight is the lack of exercise and an imbalanced diet, which overall means an unhealthy lifestyle.

As a parent of a child who is overweight, your concern for remarks that will be hurled at your child is inadequate opposed to the contributing health risks that your child will be subjected to. Obesity is largely linked to communicable diseases and the irrefutable link between Type 2 diabetes and obesity has been established.

Bheki Kunene mentioned in his response to obesity amongst kids stating: “Generally parents’ don’t watch what they feed their children and that a huge issue. The food that we eat today is literally a lot of junk. Children should also be encouraged to exercise their bodies instead of watching TV and playing video games all day.”
Parents are no longer conscious of what their children are consuming. Junk food in South Africa is an industry that is booming and is growing considerably. South Africa opened 30 burger outlets in under two years and if that is not surprising enough Mcdonalds runs approximately 200 outlets across the country.
A point to be considered is that obesity can be cured with a positive attitude and the correct lifestyle. Despite that another fact to be noted is that of the 188 countries that were under study, none of them managed to reduce their obesity levels.

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