The impact of obesity on the South African economy

Hattingh, Comien (2009-03)

Thesis (MBA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The prevalence of overweight and obesity escalated over the past 30 years worldwide in adults, children, and adolescents. Estimates are that 26% of the global adult population is either overweight or obese. However, the most alarming fact is the increase in obesity in children and adolescents. In South Africa, the estimated overweight and obesity prevalence in adults is 45% and 20% in children below 6 years of age. The World Heath Organisation acknowledges obesity as an unforgiving, formidable chronic disease, an eminent global epidemic, and the most significant independent risk factor to chronic disease. There are about 30 different diseases associated with obesity of which cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, lifestyle cancers, depression, and diabetes are the most prominent. The current rising obesity trends increase the prevalence of these obesity-associated diseases, as well as a wide range of psychosocial problems. Global expectations are that weight-related chronic disease will develop into the most significant healthcare problem in the 21st century. The overarching trend of globalisation has transformed the global landscape into a more obesogenic environment with resultant changes in behavioural lifestyles of increased caloric consumption and less physical activity at home and at work. However, genetic, social, and cultural determinants enhance weight gain, which contributes largely to current obesity trends. Obesity is a major public healthcare problem in South Africa, with African women and Caucasian men most at risk. However, the competing priorities of unemployment, poverty, and HIV/AIDS place high demands on the South African economy, with resultant neglect of obesity. Obesity has the potential to incur a large impact on the South African economy through the reduction in labour productivity, corporate profitability, and national output, especially in combination with HIV/AIDS.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die insidensie van oorgewig en obesiteit het toegeneem oor die afgelope 30 jaar wereldwyd in volwassenes, tieners, en kinders. Omtrent 26% van die globale populasie is of oorgewig of vetsugtig. Die erns van die huidige situasie is egter die toenemende voorkoms van obesiteit in kinders en tieners. Die voorkoms van oorgewig en obesiteit in Suid-Afrika word geskat op 45% in volwassenes en 20% in kinders jonger as 6 jaar. Die Wereld Gesondheid Organisasie het in 1997 obesiteit geklassifiseer as 'n chroniese siekte en hul kommer uitgespreek oor die feit dat obesiteit epidemiese proporsies bereik het. Obesiteit word ook nou erken as die belangrikste, onafhanklike risiko faktor vir chroniese siekte. Obesiteit word geassosieer met omtrent 30 verskillende siektetoestande waarvan kardiovaskulere siekte, metaboliese sindroom, lewensstyl kankers, depressie, en diabetes die belangrikste is. Stygende obesiteit syfers verhoog ook die voorkoms van hierdie siektes asook verskeie psigososiale probleme. Verwagtings is dat gewig verwante siektes die belangrikste gesondheid probleme sal wees gedurende die 21 ste eeu. Die proses van globalisasie het die wereld landskap verander in 'n omgewing wat meer obesogenies is, wat gelei het tot veranderings in leefstyle in die rigting van 'n hoër inname van kaloriee en minder aktiewe leefstyle. Genetiese, sosiale, en kulturele faktore verhoog ook die vatbaarheid van die individu tot gewig toename en speel 'n groot rol in die huidige obesiteit status. Obesiteit is tans 'n geweldige gesondheidprobleem in Suid-Afrika met Swart vrouens en Blanke mans die populasiegroepe wat die hoogste risiko dra. Die probleem is egter dat die kompeterende prioriteite van werkloosheid, armoede, en MIV/VIGS alreeds hoe eise stel aan die Suid-Afrikaans ekonomie met gevolglike verwaarlosing van obesiteit. Obesiteit het die potensiaal om 'n groot effek uit te oefen op die Suid-Afrikaanse ekonomie deur middel van 'n verlies in produktiwiteit, verminderde korporatiewe wins, en ekonomiese groei, veral in kombinasie met MIV/VIGS.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/14624
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