AbstractThe preliminary key indicator report1 of the 2016 South Africa Demographic and Health Survey was recently published by Stats SA. The survey, conducted in 13 000 occupied households, addresses a number of health issues including fertility, teenage pregnancy and motherhood, maternal care, sexual behaviour, HIV/AIDS knowledge, ante- and post-natal care, adult and childhood nutritional status, consumption patterns of alcohol and tobacco, and domestic violence. In relation to nutritional status, underweight and wasting was documented in 6% and 3% of children, respectively, whereas stunting was reported in 27% of children aged 0–59 months of age (largely unchanged). The finding of exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months of age of 32% (based on the definition used) is indeed most encouraging. Among adults, 6% of women and 30% of men still smoked tobacco daily, risky drinking was reported by 5% of women and 28% of men, 68% of women and 31% of men were overweight or obese with 20% of women having a BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2, and 64% of women and 44% of men were hypertensive. The full report is expected to become available early in 2018.
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