Globally, people are becoming more and more health conscious about what they eat. Yet despite this, South Africa remains in the top rankings of countries with the fastest growing obesity rate. Sally J’Arlette-Joy, Sandwich Baron’s franchisor, looks at how our fast paced lifestyles and the rapid expansion of fast food chains is one of the major contributors to alarming obesity statistics. She argues that introducing healthy lifestyle changes, such as a wholesome lunch pack to your diet, can contribute towards overcoming the overweight scare.
South Africa has the highest overweight and obesity rate in sub-Saharan Africa, with up to seventy percent of women and a third of men being classified as overweight or obese. Also, one in four girls and one in five boys between the ages of two and fourteen are overweight or obese.
Obesity is associated with various diseases. These include diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension (high blood pressure), joint pain and certain cancers.
Experts say the country has been going through a nutrition transition. Whereas before, the majority of our population used to be physically active and ate a diet high in fibre and indigenous vegetables, low in animal protein and refined carbohydrates; today, largely due to increased urbanisation, people are adopting a more westernised diet, high in unhealthy fats, sugar and salt.
Greater disposable income and a faster-paced lifestyle have also resulted in people consuming more takeaways and convenience foods. This is partly why there has been an increase in obesity over the past 16 years.
There are many other reasons that contribute towards South Africa’s obesity problem, but people need to understand that their lifestyles are largely to blame. We eat too much, drink too much alcohol and don’t exercise enough.
Clearly, there is a need to make healthier food choices more appetising to people. But this does not mean that they should miss out on all the things that they enjoy eating. Variety is the key to a healthier diet. It is all about getting a balance and a good balance of foods over a period of time. No single food can provide all the essential nutrients that the body needs.
Sandwich Baron has the health of its consumers at heart, and wants to instill healthier eating habits amongst their fans. The franchise recently unveiled its healthy lunch box pack as well as banting-friendly meals, prepared especially for the increasing number of customers who are following this low-carb, gluten free, high fat lifestyle. This will ensure that a range of healthy meal options is available to help South Africans stick to their meal plan. These options are available to both our corporate as well as scholar consumers.
When it comes to preparing meals during the day, not everybody has the time on their hands or the energy, and with many South Africans that have taken this eating plan seriously, we wanted to make sure that we can support them with a choice of appropriately constituted dishes that are also delicious and satisfying.
Ultimately, the onus is on the individual to lose weight. Once an individual decides to lose weight, they need to develop a strategy to reach their goal. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to losing weight, but sustainable weight loss involves making changes to your diet and your physical activity that you can sustain in the long term.