Statistics have shown that seven out of 10 women and four out of 10 men have significantly more body fat than what is deemed healthy.

Out of 70% of overweight women, over 40% of them are obese.

Most people think having low numbers on the scale means they are healthy but this is not the case. Body fat percentage tells the tale.

So what is body fat?

Body fat includes essential body fat and storage body fat. Essential body fat is necessary to maintain life and reproductive functions. The body fat percentage (BFP) of a human or other living being is the total mass of fat divided by total body mass.

Below is a chart that indicates what a healthy body fat percentage is.

Obesity is caused by many factors. Studies have shown that South Africans are living less active lifestyles and consuming more fast food, which has extremely high salt, sugar and fat content.

Particularly , the black South African women do very little exercise and that many, associate being fat with wealth, health and success, while being thin is associated with being HIV-infected.

While we associate “umkhaba” with wealth and success we total side line the fact that obesity has some very detrimental effects on our bodies.

The health effects of obesity include:

  • High blood pressure (Hypertension)
  • All-causes of death (mortality)
  • High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (Dyslipidemia)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint)
  • Sleep apnea and breathing problems
  • Some cancers (endometrial, breast, colon, kidney, gallbladder, and liver)
  • Low quality of life
  • Mental illness such as clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders
  • Body pain and difficulty with physical functioning











However it is not all gloom. We can reverse this cycle.

Leading a healthy lifestyle can help curb obesity;

  • Eating healthy (fruits, vegetables, lean protein, complex carbs)
  • Being active (cardio exercise and weight training)
  • Consuming less alcohol
  • Getting more rest
  • Invest in your health (get a gym membership, get a trainer or online coach, buy healthier food)
  • Educate yourself about health and fitness (buy fitness magazines)
  • Try out supplements
  • Understand portion control