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Healthy lifestyle campaign to reduce consumption of sugary drinks

MEDIA STATEMENT BY THE EXECUTIVE MAYOR, PATRICIA DE LILLE

Announcement marks major milestone in City’s commitment to reducing non-communicable diseases.

Today, I am pleased to announce the City of Cape Town’s new initiative to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks as part of the Partnership for Healthy Cities, a global network of cities committed to reducing non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

The City joined the global partnership in May 2017 in an effort to build healthier communities by reducing risk factors for non-communicable diseases such as obesity and diabetes.

For the Cape Town initiative, we are proud to have Vital Strategies on board as the implementing partner for the Partnership for Healthy Cities.

The Partnership for Healthy Cities was spurred by the appointment of former New York City Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, as World Health Organization(WHO) Global Ambassador for NCDs. Bloomberg Philanthropies has committed US$100 000 to Cape Town in support of the City’s Healthy Cities Partnership efforts. Through this initiative, Cape Town has gained access to a global network of city leaders and public health experts working to prevent NCDs, along with a seed grant to jumpstart the effort.

As part of the Healthy Lifestyle Programme, the City will introduce a public awareness campaign and dramatically reduce the advertisement and sale of sugary drinks from municipal buildings across Cape Town.

We are working with vendors at the Civic Centre to reduce the number of sugary drinks available to our staff and the public visiting municipal buildings. In the coming weeks, commuters will also see the campaign on billboards, community newspapers, social media and in various transport hubs and stations with advertisements warning against the dangers of sugary drinks.

The City also fully supports National Government and Parliament’s tax on sugary drinks.

Diabetes is a silent killer and there are key lifestyle changes we can make to turn the tide on this disease which has already claimed many lives in our city.

By working together, we can make progress possible and all our citizens can live healthier lives.

To help residents lead healthier lives, the City has built 47 outdoor gyms across Cape Town. It is also encouraging to see a growing running community in Cape Town, with regular races held each weekend of between 1 000 and 27 000 people participating in the biggest events.

In South Africa, 52 percent of deaths every year is attributable to non-communicable diseases. The City’s current programme is just one of many bold steps Cape Town is taking to help our citizens live healthier, longer lives and reduce the economic toll these NCDs take on our city.

In Cape Town, our focus is on diabetes which can be prevented and treated effectively through proper nutrition and adopting a healthy lifestyle. The reduction of sugary drink consumption can considerably reduce the dangers of NCDs.

With the majority of the world’s population now living in urban settings, cities are uniquely positioned to transform the fight against these diseases by implementing policies to significantly reduce exposure to risk factors. By implementing high-impact interventions, Cape Town will reduce the number of premature deaths caused by NCDs and their risk factors.

The Partnership for Healthy Cities is an 18-month initiative. Each city in the Partnership has pledged to enact one of 10 proven policies identified by the WHO as effective in protecting people from exposure to NCD risk factors.

About the Partnership for Healthy Cities:

The Partnership for Healthy Cities is a prestigious global network of cities committed to saving lives by preventing non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies in partnership with the WHO, as well as Vital Strategies, this initiative will enable cities around the world to deliver a high-impact policy or programmatic intervention to reduce NCD risk factors in their communities.

Source: City Of Cape Town

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