City clinics combat obesity for lighter and healthier future

​The City of Johannesburg observed World Obesity Day this week, drawing attention to a pressing global health concern. Obesity, characterised by the accumulation of excessive body fat, poses significant risks to individuals’ long-term wellbeing.

It’s a chronic condition resulting from consuming more calories than the body expends, leading to gradual weight gain over time. Statistics from Stats SA reveal alarming figures: 31% of men and a staggering 68% of women in South Africa grapple with obesity. Disturbingly, even children aged one to five aren’t immune, with 13% falling into the obese category. The implications extend beyond mere weight gain as obesity is closely linked to a spectrum of lifestyle diseases, including diabetes and heart conditions.

Various factors contribute to obesity, ranging from genetic predispositions to lifestyle choices. Aging, inadequate sleep, heightened stress levels, pregnancy, and certain health conditions like hypothyroidism and Cushing syndrome can all play a role.

Recognising the gravity of this issue, the City of Johannesburg’s Department of Health remains committed to providing residents with access to quality primary healthcare. City clinics offer services to assess obesity risk factors, including blood sugar and blood pressure checks. Additionally, the city encourages an active lifestyle, providing free access to park gyms and offering aerobic classes at community halls.

The Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health and Social Development in the City of Johannesburg, Cllr Ennie Makhafola, emphasizes the importance of preventive measures, stating: “Obesity is largely reversible and can be prevented through a healthy lifestyle.”

This entails consuming nutritionally dense foods such as fruits and vegetables and engaging in moderate exercise like walking and aerobics. ​Regular monitoring of blood sugar and blood pressure is crucial to ward off obesity-related ailments like diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular issues.

In observance of World Obesity Day on 4 March, the City of Johannesburg’s Department of Health in Region F organised an event to raise awareness about the adverse effects of overweight and obesity.Residents participated in aerobic exercises, received nutritional guidance, and had the opportunity to undergo sugar level and blood pressure checks – a proactive step towards combating obesity and promoting overall wellbeing.

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