South Africa’s average life expectancy of 62.4 years is expected to rise to 69.3 in 2040 based on current health trends while diabetes is predicted to be the leading cause of death by then, a new study shows.

South Africa is currently ranked 171st among 195 nations in life expectancy and if current health trends continue, it could rise slightly to 169th in 2040.

By then diabetes will have risen above HIV/Aids, lower respiratory infections, road injuries, interpersonal violence, and tuberculosis to the leading cause of death in SA, according to an international study led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

Diabetes currently affects at least 1.83 million South Africans while obesity rates among children have nearly doubled in six years. Obesity is a major contributing factor to diabetes, heart disease and strokes and research shows that 80% of weight loss attempts fail.

Nutritional expert Vanessa Ascencao says the focus should be on health rather than losing weight and advocates a lifestyle which includes a healthy balanced diet, exercise, stress management good sleep and quality supplements such as Origine 8 green tea extract.

“Green tea is a great weight loss tool as it may help boost metabolism and improve the body’s efficiency for burning energy by reducing body fat. Origine 8 is clinically proven to be safe, effective, bioavailable and bioactive and delivers the benefits of up to 25 cups of green tea. It has 12-times greater absorption than other green tea extracts with up to 24-hour bioavailability,” Ascencao said.

She said the following behaviours may affect weight loss as outlined by the British Nutrition Foundation:

  • Timing: the body better digests and metabolises food earlier in the day. Eating less in the evenings may help       lead to effective weight loss.
  • Sleep: less sleep may result in unhealthy snacking and late-night eating.
  • Support: healthy partnerships are essential for motivation for people trying to lose weight.
  • Fasting: research shows that intermittent fasting may provide an easier approach to weight loss
  • Diet: there is no standard approach, everyone is different.
  • Emotions: losing weight sparks physiological and behavioural changes that may lead to putting the weight     back on.
  • Stigma and shame: experiences of weight discrimination may impact negatively on health and could lead to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, body image concerns, binge eating and poor self-care.

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