This is the WHO final report into ending childhood obesity. Coming as we have just celebrated world obesity day on October 11th 2016. A number of South African causes and initiatives have rallied behind the epidemic looking for answers and solutions to it.
“Obesity rates in South Africa are increasing rapidly, with almost 70% of women and 40% of men either overweight or obese, according to The Lancet. One in four girls and one in five boys between the ages of 2 and 14 years are overweight or obese.” – To read the full South African Department of Health media statement click here
“South Africa has the highest overweight and obesity rate in sub-Saharan Africa, with up to 70% of women and almost 40 percent of men classified as overweight or obese. Some 40% of women in our country are obese (body mass index greater than 30 kg/m2). One in four girls and one in five boys between the ages of 2 and 14 years are overweight or obese.
Poor diet now generates more disease than physical inactivity, alcohol and smoking combined. Obesity is associated with several non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, joint pain and certain cancers.
These lifestyle diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, resulting in 16 million premature deaths each year. The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that NCDs will account for 73% of deaths and 60% of the disease burden by the year 2020, mainly in low- and middle-income countries. These NCDs now account for a staggering 43% of recorded deaths in South Africa. The chronic nature of NCDs demands long-term care and imposes a significant burden on our overburdened health system.” – Exert from the Draft Manifesto For Healthy Living Alliance
This video is useful in highlighting the young obesity problem facing so many children worldwide.
The report has taken over two years to conclude and contains 6 main recommendations into tackling the problem listed below.
For the full report and the recommendations please download the report here. Download
1.To enable South African to increase control over and improve its own health using the PHC approach, which is multidisciplinary in nature;
2.To provide guidelines to support actions at appropriate levels that will advance the aims and objectives of the health promotion policy;
3.To promote a holistic approach to health by:
Focus on the link between health promotion and the determinants of health
Emphasise inter-sectoral and multi-disciplinary approaches in planning, implementing and evaluating health promotion interventions;
Outline health promotion activities in various settings; and
Specifying strategic indicators to be monitored
The HPP&S 15-19 identifies key target audiences across the life cycle for health promotion interventions (→ focus on)
Children < 5 years → promoting better health;
Women of child bearing age → creating awareness on services available;
Men → promoting a change in gender norms and values by encouraging broader involvement in health issues;
Youth → addressing risky behaviour and promoting healthy lifestyle practices;
Older people → community-based programmes and support groups to promote regular health and self-management of NCDs;
Marginalised populations → specific health needs.
12.2 Financial Resources (page 26)
The successful implementation of the health promotion programme requires sustained and dedicated financial resources. The allocation of resources should be based on the principles of redress and equity. The current financial resources limits the implementation of health promotion strategies that are known to increase awareness on critical health issues and impact upon on social and behavioural changes that promote health and well being.
Civil society role – key partners (page 29-30)
Developing and promoting frameworks for health promotion interventions
Strengthening partnerships with community structures and civil society for health campaigns
Supporting PHC Ward-Based Outreach Teams to implement health promotion programmes with activities to develop:
-a package of service delivery of health promotion services
-tools to assess and promote community mobilisation.