File image: IOL.

CAPE TOWN - South African's health has been under scrutiny in the latest Discovery Vitality ObeCity Index 2017 with Cape Town being declared the healthiest city. 

The ObeCity Index follows the global challenge of obesity, with half of South African adults overweight or obese, according to the ObeCity Index 2017. 

The Index presents the latest insights on weight status which is measured by Body Mass Index (BMI). 

Additionally, food purchasing behaviour of nearly half a million Vitality members in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth have been analysed. 

Unhealthy habits lead to diseases and in the extreme instance, death. 

For instance, 4.5 million annual deaths have been linked to obesity or being overweight. 

However, obesity and poor health does not only negatively affect individuals. 

The economic impact of obesity in South Africa is estimated to be R701 billion each year.

In addition, individuals with an unhealthy body weight automatically incur increased healthcare costs of R4 400 per anum. 

As individuals appetite grows for unhealthy foods, so that the demand for these foods. 

"We see a direct correlation between weight status and health outcomes. People with an unhealthy body weight incur a direct increase in healthcare costs of approximately R4 400 per person per year. We also know that the purchase of healthy foods has a positive impact on BMI and the associated risks of developing chronic diseases of lifestyle", says Head of Vitality Wellness, Dr Craig Nossel. 

Between 2005 and 2010, sales for ready-made meals in South Africa increased by 40%. 

The types of ready-made foods include noodles and snack bars. 

FINDINGS: 

CategoryDescriptionRank
Weight statusA combined score using Body Mass Index (BMI) with waist circumference.

1.Cape Town

2.Johannesburg

3.Durban

4.Pretoria

5.Bloemfontein

6.Port Elizabeth

Food purchasing scoreThe ratio of healthy to healthy-plus-unhealthy products purchased at Pick n Pay and Woolworths through the HealthyFood benefit. The higher the score, the healthier the basket of food.

1.Cape Town

2.Bloemfontein

3.Port Elizabeth

4.Pretoria

5.Johannesburg

6.Durban

Fruit and vegetable intakeThe average number of fruit and vegetable portions purchased per member.

1.Cape Town

2.Johannesburg

3.Bloemfontein

4.Pretoria

5.Port Elizabeth

6.Durban

Salt intakeThe average number of teaspoons of salt purchased per member – determined by taking into account purchases of salt as well as of high-salt foods.

1.Durban

2.Port Elizabeth

3.Pretoria

4.Bloemfontein

5.Cape Town

6.Johannesburg

Sugar intakeThe average number of teaspoons of sugar purchased per member – determined by taking into account purchases of sugar as well as sugary snacks and drinks.

1.Durban

2.Port Elizabeth

3.Pretoria

4.Johannesburg

5.Cape Town

6.Bloemfontein


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- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE