My body, my health: my wealth
Promoting healthier lifestyles to reduce the risk of noncommunicable diseases.
UNICEF, supported by AstraZeneca's Young Health Programme, is working to make noncommunicable diseases prevention a priority and enable young people to live healthily. This campaign is part of a global effort. The My Body, My Health: My Wealth campaign kicked off in October during National Nutrition Week 2022.
Noncommunicable diseases (NCD) are responsible for 70 per cent of deaths worldwide and are the leading cause of death and disability in South Africa. But evidence highlights that by adopting a healthy diet, engaging in regular physical activity and managing stress levels, NCDs can be largely prevented. Just by improving diet, 20 per cent of NCD related deaths can be prevented globally.
In South Africa, childhood obesity among children under five is 13 per cent, more than two times that of the global average, while 60 per cent of 20–24-year-old women are overweight or obese, compared to about 14.5 per cent of men the same age.
In 2022, UNICEF South Africa published the results of a study on diet and physical activity among adolescents and youth in South Africa.
Let’s break down some findings…
- The study showed that young women were 3 times more likely to be overweight or obese to that of boys, at 31 per cent compared to just under 19 per cent.
- The taste and tempting marketing of unhealthy foods, combined with the high cost and availability of healthy foods were noted as challenges to following a healthy diet.
- There was limited knowledge and confusion about what a healthy diet is and how a lack of physical activity and other modifiable risk factors can result in NCDs.
Invest in my health, I am worth it!
The campaign title “My Body, My Health: My Wealth” and slogan “Invest in my health, I am worth it!” comes straight from the youth of South Africa.
UNICEF volunteers brainstormed and developed the campaign messaging to target other youth.
This campaign aims to support and encourage youth to make healthier choices in their own lives as well as to advocate for healthy, safe and fun spaces in their communities and across the country.
Some simple actions to start your journey to a healthier lifestyle with these nutrition daily mini-challenges!
- Stay hydrated! Start your day with a glass of water and keep a refillable water bottle with you during the day.
- Make sure to eat breakfast and include at least one fruit! Breakfast can help your mood and keep you more alert during the day.
- Pay attention to the snacks you eat. Instead of chips or sweets, eat fresh veggies or fruits as snacks!
- Eat slowly and pay attention to when you feel full. Maybe your body doesn’t need as much food as you thought.
- Instead of having sugary drinks, choose water on its own or with slices of lemon or cucumber.
- Find a safe area and take a walk during your breaks, either with friends or on your own.
- Pay attention to how you feel when you eat healthy. Do you notice any difference when you eat healthier, drink more water and move more?
The ‘My Body, My Health: My Wealth’ campaign supports the 2022 ‘National Strategic Plan for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases’ led by the National Department of Health.