Media Type: “Articles”

Fitness-Related Activities and Medical Claims Related to Hospital Admissions

Introduction We report on the effect of an incentive-based wellness program on medical claims and hospital admissions among members of a major health insurer. The focus of this investigation was specifically on fitness-related activities in this insured population. Methods Adult members of South Africa’s largest private health insurer (n = 948,974) were grouped, a priori,... More »

Preventing Chronic Disease | October, 2009

Medical Care Savings From Workplace Wellness Programs: What Is a Realistic Savings Potential?

Background: Workplace wellness programs have become increasingly popular despite large inconsistencies in the analyses of their ability to produce long-term medical care savings. Objective: To clarify the aforesaid situation by estimating potential long-term medical care savings linked to chronic disease. Methods: We combined data from the Global Burden of Disease Study and Medical Expenditure Panel... More »

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine | January 2013

Eating Better for Less: A National Discount Program for Healthy Food Purchases in South Africa

Background: Improving diet quality is a key health promotion strategy. The HealthyFood program provides up to a 25% discount on selected food items to about 260,000 households across South Africa. Objectives: Examine whether reducing prices for healthy food purchases leads to changes in self-reported measures of food consumption and weight status. Methods: Repeated surveys of... More »

American Journal of Health Behavior | January 2013

The Healthiest Company Index: A Campaign to Promote Worksite Wellness in South Africa

Objective: To describe a 2010 initiative to encourage companies in South Africa to adopt workplace health promotion programs. Methods: Data documenting organizational efforts to improve workers' health were collected from 71 participating employers and 11,472 workers completing health assessments. Organizational and employee health were scored on the basis of responses to the surveys that asked... More »

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine | February 2013


A Cash-Back Rebate Program for Healthy Food Purchases in South Africa: Results from Scanner Data

Background: Improving diet quality is a key health promotion strategy. There is much interest in the role of prices and fınancial incentives to encourage healthy diet, but no data from large population interventions. Purpose: This study examines the effect of a price reduction for healthy food items on household grocery shopping behavior among members of... More »

American Journal of Preventive Medicine | March 19, 2013

A Decade of Tobacco Control: The South African Case of Politics, Health Policy, Health Promotion and Behaviour Change

Background: The South African (SA) government has implemented comprehensive tobacco control measures in line with the requirements of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The effect of these measures on smoking prevalence and smoking-related attitudes particularly among young people, is largely unknown. Objective: To describe the impact of a comprehensive health promotion approach to tobacco... More »

The South African Medical Journal | September 30, 2013

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Looking for the Next Breakthrough in Tobacco Control and Health

South African statistics on cigarette smoking suggest that there are grounds for some celebration on how rapidly consumption has fallen since the institution of anti-smoking policies started roughly 20 years ago. As with other countries, tax policies that increased the cost of cigarettes will have played the greatest role in the reduction in smoking. These... More »

The South African Medical Journal | November 2013

Food Industry: Friend or Foe?

Open discourse and tolerance between the food industry and public sector is limited. As a result, the public and private sectors are reluctant to collaborate on pressing nutritional issues. Those in the public sector have never heard what they could do to encourage a food company’s transition towards healthier foods and beverages, whereas many in... More »

Obesity Reviews | October 13, 2013

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Innovative Business Approaches for Incenting Health Promotion in Sub-Saharan Africa: Progress and Persisting Challenges

Non-communicable chronic diseases related to behaviors such as tobacco use, overeating, excess alcohol intake and physical inactivity account for increasing morbidity and mortality in South Africa. Over the last 15 years, Discovery Health, the largest private health plan in South Africa, has developed a voluntary health promotion program called Vitality with over 1.5 million members.... More »

Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases | October 11, 2013

Public Health Lives: Gro Harlem Brundtland

Health has been a deeply personal, professional and political dimension of Gro Harlem Brundtland's life. Her decision to study breast feeding while an MPH student at Harvard in 1964, or her desire to tackle tobacco being influenced by her father sending her as a 10-year old girl to buy his cigarettes at the local store,... More »

Public Health Journal | April 18, 2013