Improving heart health and lowering cholesterol
within 21 days
Flora’s “It Takes a Village Campaign” encourages easy diet and lifestyle changes. The study, to test and lower a community‘s overall cholesterol level through a lifestyle programme, was designed to dramatically improve the health of participants within just three weeks.
Heart disease is the second leading cause of death in South Africa. Statistics from The Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa show that 17.5 million people annually die from CVD, with one in three men and one in four women under the age of 60 years at risk. All this despite the fact that 80% of deaths from CVD are preventable.
As part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, the business aims to raise the understanding and awareness of the risks of cardiovascular disease (CVD) from 50% in 2011 to 85% by 2015.
Considering that elevated cholesterol is a key risk factor in heart disease, having one’s levels tested and knowing your number is the necessary first step to living a long and healthy life. In a bid to improve the heart health of our consumers, heart health brand Flora launched a 21-day cholesterol challenge in Villiersdorp this year, making it the first time that an initiative like this has taken place in South Africa.
“Of the 2000 Villiersdorp residents who initially had their cholesterol tested, 594 (30%) discovered they were in the high risk category. 41% of those who tested high, had never had their levels checked before,” said Odele Sheik, Brand Manager for Flora.
164 of the high-risk candidates volunteered for Flora’s 21-day cholesterol lowering challenge. After 21 days, 18 walks, 12 heart conditioning classes, 3 cooking demos, nutritional consultations, a Sokkie dance evening and a healthy supply of Flora pro.activ, 120 participants had their cholesterol levels tested again on 13 February 2014 by independent registered nurses, and results showed the genuine effect of lifestyle change.
Some of the key findings included:
The average cholesterol of those who completed the challenge on day 1 of the challenge was 6.1mmol/l and after the 21 day challenge was 4.6mmol/l - a 24% reduction.
96% (116 out of 120 participants) reduced their cholesterol, versus 95% in Greece Symi, 84% in Greece Vonitsa, 80% in ‘Spain’ and 84% in Australia.
The cholesterol testing was conducted by independent company, Woza Wellness, and the results were audited by Biostatician, Tonya Esterhuizen, Faculty of Medicine and Health Science at the University of Stellenbosch.
Although the Flora 21 Day Cholesterol Challenge campaign was launched in Villiersdorp, Flora invites all South Africans to take care of their heart by having their cholesterol checked and participate in the challenge.
To join Flora’s journey to a healthier heart, simply visit www.floraproactiv.co.za and follow www.facebook.com/florastrongheart.