The great news is that up to 80% of heart diseases and strokes that happen before the age of 70 years can be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle and treating conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. A healthy lifestyle involves eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, not smoking, managing day-to-day stress, if drinking alcohol doing so in moderation, and maintaining a healthy weight.

In reality, the lifestyles of most South Africans are steadily becoming unhealthier e:

  • 68% of women and 31% of men are overweight or obese
  • Up to 2 in every 5 adults suffer from high blood pressure
  • 37% of men and 7% of women are regular smokers
  • Nearly 1 in 2 women and a quarter of men do not do sufficient amounts of physical activity
  • Most South Africans eat a diet too high in processed meat, salt, sugars, deep-fried foods, refined starches, and don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables.
  • More than 50% of children don’t take a lunch box to school

Everyone can benefit from making some lifestyle changes, and even small changes can make a powerful difference to lower the risk of heart diseases and strokes. Learn more about what it means to live a healthy lifestyle and what you can do to lower your risk.