Professor Endocrinology, University of Pretoria; CEO of Centres for Metabolic Medicine and Surgery of South Africa – Prof. Tess van der Merwe
This week on Womanity – Women in Unity, Dr. Amaleya Goneos-Malka talks to Professor Tess van der Merwe who is a Professor and Researcher in the Department of Endocrinology, University of Pretoria; CEO of the 11 Centres for Metabolic Medicine and Surgery of South Africa CEMMS(SA). She is the Africa consultant for the International Association for the Study of Obesity; Chair of the South African Society for Obesity Metabolism (SASSO) and has served this organisation for more than 25 years; and she currently serves on the Scientific Board of the International Federation for Surgical Obesity. She highlights the fact that two out of every three women in South Africa is clinically overweight or obese, which places South Africa fifth highest level in the world in terms of obesity rankings and the heaviest in sub-Sahara Africa. Obesity is a multifactorial disease and the prevalence in women is combination of environmental and personal factors. There is a need to shift thinking about obesity from a lifestyle disease to a disease in its own right that contributes to several chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular conditions and cancer. We compare gender equality attitudes in South Africa and Sweden (an egalitarian society), where gender blindness in Sweden provides equal opportunities for women in comparison to the immature attitudes some sectors of South African society tends to have regarding women that limit their development. Tune in for more….