Ayanda Thabethe, Miss Supranational SA, obesity

Ayanda Thabethe. Image: Supplied.

Miss Supranational SA: Ayanda Thabethe debunks obesity myths

Miss Supranational SA Ayanda Thabethe’s brand new advocacy campaign is all about opening up conversations about obesity and nutrition.

Ayanda Thabethe, Miss Supranational SA, obesity

Ayanda Thabethe. Image: Supplied.

Miss SA 2022 runner up Ayanda Thabethe, who is representing South Africa at the Miss Supranational pageant this year, launched her advocacy campaign Project Khulisa — ahead of World Obesity Day on 4 March.

The campaign is all about helping communities and putting the spotlight on nutrition and obesity ahead of World Obesity Day on 4 March.

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Ahead of World Obesity Day, Miss Supranational SA Ayanda Thabethe is doing her part in encouraging discussions around nutrition, malnutrition, and obesity. The Miss South Africa 2022 runner-up’s advocacy campaign is all about the complexities of obesity.

Ayanda Thabethe to represent SA at Miss Supranational. Images: supplied.

“Obesity is the enemy and is under-estimated in South Africa,” Thabethe says. Adding, “The danger of obesity in our country is that many people do not perceive it as a health condition. Some cultures equate obesity to meaning that one is well off or being treated well,” she adds.

Several factors – such as heredity, mental health problems, changes in daily routines, chronic stress, hormone imbalances, or medication side effects – might contribute to obesity as a health condition, the beauty queen explains.

“Despite the cause, suffering silently by yourself will not help you recover from a health condition. Instead, we must approach obesity the same way we do any other health problems, by consulting with our doctor. It also impacts how people perceive themselves in the mirror and their sense of self-worth,” she says.

According to the World Obesity Day website, 1.9 billion people will globally live with obesity by 2035.

One in four people in the world will be living with obesity by this time, and those most affected will be children, the website states.

“Nearly every element of health is negatively impacted by excess weight, from memory and mood to reproductive and pulmonary function. Obesity raises the risk of many fatal and disabling conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and various cancers,” said Thabethe.

And she also doesn’t have time for “fat shaming.”

“Having a conversation about obesity can be difficult for anyone. Obesity is not a symptom of laziness or a lack of self-control, as some people incorrectly believe,” Thabethe says.

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According to a rlease from the Miss SA Organisation, these are Thabethe’s tips:

  1. Choose to eat five or six modest meals or three decent size meals a day with a small snack or two in between if necessary. Either method will maintain a steady blood sugar level and even metabolism. Your body will work better and prevent weight gain if your levels are balanced.
  2.  An intense workout routine is okay if you’re healthy and satisfied with your weight. But a moderate fitness routine will work better if you’re having trouble losing weight. You will benefit more from regular 30-minute walks than a strenuous, impossible-to-continue 90-minute workout.
  3.  Avoid “emotional eating.” Being conscious of when you eat because of stress or for comfort is half the battle. You might want to consider employing holistic psychotherapy or meditation to help you release old eating habits. You might find yourself fitting into clothes you haven’t been able to for years!
  4.  Try to assemble each meal with protein, healthy fat sources, complex carbs, and vegetables. And remember that leafy green vegetables are a great way to bulk up a meal with low calories and lots of nutrients. We need to cut out white starch and sugars and increase our vegetable intake.
  5.  Stop skipping meals. Your body may assume it is starving if you skip meals.

The 23-year-old will represent South Africa at Miss Supranational in Poland in July.

Thabethe was a final year Bsc Dietics and Human Nutrition student at the University of KwaZulu Natal when she was crowned the Miss SA runner up in 2022.

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