Diabetes and obesity in South Africa

Prof. Demetre Labadarios of the HSRC's Population Health, Health Systems and Innovation unit features in an article in the latest issue of The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. Prof. Labadarios discusses the “bleak” prognosis regarding diabetes in South Africa.

The HSRC's first South African Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (SANHANES) of more than 25 000 people in 2012, showed that 5% of all adult (older than 15 years) respondents had self-reported diabetes; in those over 55 years of age, the proportion was 16.

The articles goes on to say that, "Shockingly, almost two thirds of adult women were overweight or obese; in fact, 40% of women were obese. Although the prevalence is lower than in women, about a third of adult men in South Africa are overweight or obese. And of concern, almost a quarter of girls and 16% of boys were found to be overweight or obese; with overweight known to often track from childhood to adulthood, this finding signals problems for the future incidence of non-communicable diseases."

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