World Obesity Day 2023: Changing Perspectives and Taking Action

The worldwide impact of obesity has led to it being considered a significant global health crisis. In 2015, World Obesity Day was established to increase awareness and promote practical measures. The event takes place annually on 4 March and is intended to encourage a coordinated, cross-sector response to the obesity crisis. The current campaign theme is ‘Changing Perspectives: Let’s Talk About Obesity’, which aims to dispel misunderstandings about obesity and promote collective action. The Noakes Foundation acknowledges the significance of this day and its objective to promote healthy weight and counteract the global obesity crisis.


The Global Obesity Crisis


The World Obesity Federation projects that the number of people living with obesity worldwide will reach 1.9 billion by 2035, with an estimated economic impact of $4.32 trillion (R78.3 trillion). The incidence of childhood obesity is expected to double between 2020 and 2035, and it is estimated that 1 in 4 people will have obesity by 2035. South Africa is one of the countries that has been severely impacted by the obesity crisis. The latest statistics show that 27% of South African adults are overweight, and 39.2% are obese, meaning that over two-thirds of the adult population in South Africa is overweight or obese. In addition, the prevalence of overweight and obesity among children in South Africa has increased significantly in recent years, with 13% of children aged 6 to 14 classified as overweight or obese.


The Dangers of Obesity: How Excess Weight Takes a Toll on Your Health


Obesity is linked to various negative health outcomes, including a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and other chronic conditions. These health risks are caused by metabolic and physiological changes that occur due to excess body fat.


One of the primary mechanisms by which obesity contributes to health issues is through its impact on inflammation. Extra fat tissue produces and releases pro-inflammatory molecules, leading to a state of chronic low-grade inflammation in the body. This can cause insulin resistance, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, chronic inflammation is associated with an elevated risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. Obesity can also result in structural changes in the heart and blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. For example, excess body fat can cause atherosclerosis, a condition where fatty plaques accumulate in the arteries, reducing blood flow. This can heighten the risk of heart attack and stroke.


Moreover, being overweight or obese can affect respiratory function and increase the likelihood of respiratory issues such as sleep apnea and asthma. It can also place more pressure on joints, increasing the risk of osteoarthritis and other musculoskeletal disorders. It’s essential to note that the negative health effects of obesity are not limited to physical health. Obesity can also lead to adverse psychological and social consequences, including a heightened risk of depression, anxiety, and social stigma.


The Noakes Foundation’s Work in Combating Obesity


The Noakes Foundation is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to advancing understanding of the role of nutrition in health and disease. One of its key missions is to promote a low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet as a means of combating obesity and related health problems.


Numerous scientific studies have shown that a low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet is an effective way to achieve weight loss, reduce insulin resistance, and enhance overall metabolic health. Findings indicate that LCHF diets lead to more substantial weight loss and better improvements in metabolic health markers, such as cholesterol and blood sugar levels, compared to traditional low-fat diets. The Noakes Foundation, a leading organization in the field of nutrition research, and education has conducted numerous studies, in collaboration with South African Universities, on the health benefits of an LCHF diet. The results of these studies have been published in prestigious scientific journals, such as PLOS ONE.


One of the Foundation’s studies, which focussed on the effects of a low-carbohydrate, high fat diet on diabetes related physiological mechanisms, investigated the effects of a LCHF diet on overweight and obese individuals over a period of six months. The study found that participants who followed the LCHF diet had significant improvements in markers of metabolic health, including blood sugar, insulin, and cholesterol levels, as well as greater weight loss compared to those on a conventional low-fat diet. Read more on it here. There is a wealth of scientific evidence that highlights the benefits of a low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet in promoting weight loss and improving metabolic health, but it has also shed light on the potential of this dietary approach in preventing and managing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease.


As a prominent entity in the field of nutrition research, The Noakes Foundation upholds its dedication to conducting top-tier studies on the health advantages of an LCHF diet and promoting the significance of a nutritious diet in optimizing one’s health. The foundation strives to address the worldwide obesity crisis and enhance people’s health through its research and advocacy endeavors.


Call to Action: Supporting The Noakes Foundation


The Noakes Foundation is a non-profit organization that relies on donations to fund its research and educational initiatives, aimed at advancing understanding of the role of nutrition in health and disease and promoting healthy weight and metabolic health. Supporting The Noakes Foundation can make a difference in the fight against the global obesity crisis.


Academic free speech and digital voices highlights the importance of free speech in academic research and the impact of digital media on scientific discourse. The Noakes Foundation is dedicated to promoting healthy living through nutrition research and education, is closely connected to these issues. Academic free speech is critical to advancing scientific knowledge and promoting public health. Furthermore, the rise of digital platforms has democratized the ability to share ideas, but has also created challenges for managing and evaluating the quality of information. It is important for us to emphasize the importance of promoting open inquiry and debate in the digital age, and the role of universities and other institutions in fostering an environment where academic free speech can thrive.


The Nutrition Network is a leading education platform for medical and allied health professionals because it offers comprehensive training and certification programs on the science and practice of low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diets. The courses are developed and taught by leading experts in the field, including doctors, nutritionists, and dietitians, who have extensive knowledge and experience in LCHF diets. By offering evidence-based education and training to medical and allied health professionals, the Nutrition Network is helping to promote the use of LCHF diets as a safe and effective tool for improving health outcomes. Nutrition Network offers an ‘Obesity: Risk and Reversal’ elective designed for Medical and Allied Health Care Professionals on the topic of obesity, the risks associated with it, and how LCHF/Ketogenic nutrition may be used in clinical practice to manage and reverse obesity and its associated conditions. Presented by national and international medical and allied healthcare experts in their field on the topic of obesity, the risks associated with it, and how LCHF/Ketogenic nutrition may be used in clinical practice to manage and reverse obesity and its associated conditions. Follow the link to learn more.


To donate, please visit our website. By working together, we can improve health outcomes for everyone. World Obesity Day is an important initiative, and The Noakes Foundation recognizes its significance. Through promoting a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet, they are actively combating obesity and its related health problems. With your support, we can continue to make a difference.




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Schofield, J. D., et al. (2016). The effect of a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet on ad libitum calorie intake, body weight, and insulin sensitivity in overweight adults: a randomized controlled trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 104(2), 324-333.


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Volek, J. S., et al. (2019). Metabolic health and insulin sensitivity in overweight/obese individuals is improved by a dietary natural fat high in stearic acid. Lipids, 54(9), 537-547.


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