• Weighty issue

    Weighty issue

    In South Africa, obesity isn’t only one of the main drivers of preventable chronic diseases – it also costs the country’s economy hundreds of billions of rands every year.

    According to a report by financial services group Discovery, aptly named the ObeCity Index, the costs linked to obesity are due to increased absenteeism and higher medical spend (out-of-pocket healthcare) – while decreased productivity alone costs the country ZAR109 billion per annum.

    A Discovery Vitality survey found that Cape Town has the best scores when it comes to members having a healthy weight status (53.5%), followed by Johannesburg (52%) and Durban (51.8%).

    However, Fin24 reports that sales of ready-made meals, snack bars and instant noodles increased by 40% between 2005 and 2010. This resulted in people with an unhealthy bodyweight incurring a direct increase in healthcare costs of roughly ZAR4 400 per person per annum.

    24 October 2017
    Image: Gallo/Getty Images