Could life in Vanderbijlpark help you lose weight?

You are what you eat - and it seems South Africans agree. According to a Chef's Pencil study, we are the sixth-most 'diet-obsessed' country in the world. The study analysed Google Trends searches on the topic of diet and nutrition. Diving deeper, Vanderbijlpark is the area doing the most diet-related searches. To find out why, we spoke to local dietician, Carina Fourie.

Carina is not your ordinary healthcare professional. She's been a registered dietician since 2007. In 2012, she started her own private practise in the Vaal Triangle (Vanderbijlpark) area. In one year alone, Carina helped her clients lose more than a ton of weight - and maintain their healthy lifestyles. Wow!

Carina, why are you passionate about nutrition?

A good diet can change and even save your life. Eating healthy is more than just sustaining a healthy weight and looking good. Nutrition will impact your energy levels, mood and ability to function at your best. Nutrition has the power to prevent, cure and even treat some diseases.

What factors affect your diet?

There are lots of factors. These are a few that stand out to me:

  • Genetics is a huge factor that affects your body's ability to maintain or store weight, be more prone to overeat or have a sweet tooth
  • Culture
  • Economic status, especially to afford fresh produce
  • Activity levels
  • Working hours and environment

Does where you live have an impact?

Yes, where you live can affect your diet. Larger and more affordable shops make it possible to choose healthier options. Living in an area that supports an active lifestyle also helps you sustain a healthier weight.

Let's talk about that study. It seems Vanderbijlpark residents are the most diet conscious in the country. Why is that?

People here enjoy exercising and keeping fit. Good nutrition tends to go hand in hand with this. Like any other place in South Africa, we are also affected by obesity and lifestyle diseases. But, the steel and chemical industry takes health very seriously. I think they go to great lengths to educate and create awareness about dieting and healthy living in our area. I often get invited to employee wellness days and workshops by these companies. The local turnout always surprises me.

What makes healthy living possible in Vanderbijlpark?

Vanderbijlpark is a lovely town on the banks of the Vaal River. It's simple to find somewhere to keep active on weekends. We have three parkruns in a 20 km radius and a Myrun at the Emerald Resort & Casino. I love going there for runs and walks with the kids. They make a great effort to create a clean and safe space at their facility.

There's also the Bongani Mabaso EcoPark. It has ample space for trail running and cycling while you take in the beautiful grasslands and wildlife.

For the golfers, there are some of the best courses in Gauteng. They're also quite affordable.

The river comes with a different lifestyle that sets this area apart. Skiing and rowing is a great way to get the family together and keep active.

We're really spoiled for choice when it comes to supermarkets and shops taking the size of our town into account.

Let's say I'm new to the area and want to be my best self. What advice would you give me?

Get active and get involved with the community. Vaal has friendly, helpful people that will welcome you to the area. If you have nutrition challenges, I'm also here to help you find the perfect plan that's sustainable and practical.

If living healthier is your New Year's resolution, Vanderbijlpark is the key. The area is filled with quality food shops, green spaces, active community members and seasoned dieticians like Carina. Unlock a world of well-being with Century 21. Take a look at our properties and contact us today.

19 Dec 2019
Author Century 21
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