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South Africa Is The Unhealthiest Country On Earth…

South Africa Is The Unhealthiest Country On Earth…

It’s official: according to a recent study by The Indigo Wellness Index – South Africa has officially been crowned the unhealthiest country on earth. In the recent study compiled and led by Richard Davies at economics consultancy Bloomsbury Economics, South Africa scored shockingly high scores across the 10 following health related metrics used to rank global health:

  • blood pressure
  • happiness
  • alcohol consumption
  • obesity
  • blood glucose (diabetes risk)
  • depression
  • tobacco use
  • exercise
  • life expectancy
  • total government spending on healthcare.

Numerous reasons have been given to explain South Africa’s alarmingly poor health statistics, with the most prominent being South African’s dangerously limited and unhealthy diets. Simply put, South Africans eat too much of the same foods!

According to South African National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey an estimated 40 percent of all South Africans are not consuming foods with enough nutritional diversity.

We’re experiencing an alarming rate of obesity….

According to the South African Demographic Survey 2016 (SADHS), 68% of South African women and 31% of men are overweight! These poor dietary choices have resulted in almost half of the population over the age of 15 suffering from high-blood pressure, with an estimated 6-7% suffering from diabetes, and an added 5 million being dubbed pre-diabetic. South Africa also boosts shockingly high-obesity rates. With statistics from the Indigo Wellness Index deeming 28% of the adult population, and 20% of the children population obese (VUT, 2019)

And it gets worse. According to United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), a terrifying high number of South African children, are also suffering the consequences of poor diet. Studies show an estimated 2 in 3 children between the six months and two years of age are not being fed foods to support their rapidly growing bodies and brains. Get more information.

This leaves South Africa faced with the triple burden of malnutrition—undernutrition, hidden hunger and obesity.

According to the Eat Lancet Commission 2019 Report, in order to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, our global consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes will have to double, with the consumption of red meat and sugar being reduced by more than 50%.

To set-up ways in which our nation can effectively transform our dietary patterns, Knorr is working to help drastically transform the way we eat. As a purpose-driven company, Knorr wants to help South Africans achieve this by offering tangible solutions to help you improve your diet.


Africa Check. 2018. Are some 70% of women, 39% of men in South Africa overweight? | Africa Check. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Jan. 2020]. Get more information.

Commision, E.L., 2019. Summary Report of the EAT-Lancet Commission. Lancet.

Malan, M., 2014. SA’s the fattest sub-Saharan African nation–study. Retrieved from Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism: http://bhekisisa. org/article/2014-05-29-00-sa-has-the-fattest-subsaharan-african-nation-study [Accessed: 12 August 2016].

Shisana, O., Labadarios, D., Rehle, T., Simbayi, L., Zuma, K., Dhansay, A., Reddy, P., Parker, W., Hoosain, E., Naidoo, P. and Hongoro, C., 2015. The South African National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2012: SANHANES-1: the health and nutritional status of the nation.

Unicef, 2019. The state of the world's children 2019. eSocialSciences.

VUT Research. (2019). South Africa – The World’s Unhealthiest Country. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Jan. 2020]. Get more information.

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