A spate of gloomy headlines were published last week in regard to the weight of the nation! While it is cause for great concern that two out of every three South Africans are either overweight or obese, with women most seriously affected, no one seems to be suggesting any solutions to this ever increasing obesity dilemma.
Action, not recriminations please
What we now need is some action to turn around this disastrous situation, so this is an open letter to the Department of Health, the health fraternity, educators and the media in South Africa:
Dear professionals who are involved (or should be involved) with turning the tide of obesity in South Africa, please let us do something about educating our nation about the link between overweight and food intake, and the connection between obesity and all those dread diseases that threaten our people such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.
Recriminations and “shaming” two thirds of the population because they “love junk food” or “believe they are healthy” when they have a BMI of more than 40, is not going to change the situation. Neither will bans, prohibitions (just think of how disastrous Prohibition was in the US), complicated legislation or endless investigative committees. What could just make a difference is nutrition education starting at grassroots level and giving total support to making us a nation that participates in physical activity once more.