A broader outreach programme for African teenagers to direct our research and education towards a particular vulnerable group – African teenagers with poor knowledge of an affordable and culturally acceptable healthy lifestyle. The obesity epidemic in South Africa already starts with children and in particular, teenagers. Obesity results in hypertension which can have serious and even deadly consequences like heart failure, diabetes and stroke.
We aim to establish a dedicated programme for children and teenagers focusing on living a healthy life. We aim to achieve this goal by using suitable, simple and youth-appropriate education material such as a targeted DVD, booklets and lectures and by creating awareness through screening to determine risk factors. We aim to start with two annual education campaigns in two schools in Soweto in 2011.
A pilot screening day was done in October 2010 at Thaba Jabula Secondary School in Soweto to test for viability and reproducibility. A hundred and twenty Grade 10 learners were screened for blood pressure, weight, height and body mass index (BMI) with parental consent and consent from the school.