On 23 January 2014, Flora issued the residents of Villiersdorp South Africa’s first 21-day challenge to lower cholesterol. It was an initiative aimed at highlighting the fact that heart disease is preventable if you adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy diet and exercise.
‘Heart disease is the second leading cause of death in South Africa, with one in four people dying from cardiovascular disease, [and] 80% [of the deaths are] preventable,’ says The Heart and Stroke Foundation SA CEO Dr Vash Mungal-Singh. ‘That is why initiatives like this are so important in educating the nation on knowing their cholesterol number and actively doing something about it.’
Of the 2 000 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. ‘Considering that elevated cholesterol is the 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,’ comments Flora marketing director Susan Stringer.
164 of the high-risk candidates volunteered for Flora Pro-activ’s 21-day Challenge, which aimed to lower cholesterol levels by up to 15% in three weeks by including a 25g daily intake of Flora Pro-activ in a healthy eating plan with exercise.
After 21 days, 18 walks, 12 heart-conditioning classes, three cooking demos, nutritional consultations, a sokkie dance evening and a healthy supply of Flora Pro-activ, 120 participants had their cholesterol levels tested again, with positive results:
- The average cholesterol of those who completed day one of the challenge was 6.1mmol/l. After 21 days it dropped to 4.6mmol/l – a 24% reduction.
- 96% of the participants (116 out of 120) had reduced their cholesterol.
‘Each percentile drop can be seen as one step closer to a healthier heart, so we are delighted with these results,’ says Stringer.