South Africa: The Festive Season Is Upon Us... but So Is Diabetes

opinion

The festive season is a time of decadent food, drink and all things merry, but do you know the long-term effects of the foods you consume during this time?

Ho ho ho! 'Tis the season to be jolly, but don't get carried away or fooled by the adverts of the heavily-laden table with the big bottles of sweetened beverages and the tagline "Open Happiness". There isn't much happiness to be found when the excess consumption of such drinks results in you losing a limb from diabetes.

There is a clear connection between food with added sugar, salt and saturated fats and the rising rates of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) worldwide. The numbers are shocking to say the very least. NCDs are now a national crisis in South Africa -- overtaking HIV/Aids rates -- and yet we continue to take the problem lightly.

A major contributor to NCDs such as diabetes, hypertension and cancer are the foods we consume. To take this one step further, these NCDs can actually be attributed to an unregulated food and beverage industry that adds excessive amounts of sugar, salt and saturated fats in the food that is readily available to us as consumers. These types of...

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