In a bid to fight the scourge of non-communicable diseases, The City of Cape Town and its partners launched a Healthy Lifestyle Program at Nomzamo Community Hall yesterday (Wednesday 31 October).The programme’s aim is to raise public awareness about lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, which is the number one cause of premature death among women in the province.It also focused on other chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and hypertension, and informed participants about preventing the onset of such conditions and how to manage them if contracted.The programme’s Live Well Challenge is being piloted in eight areas across the metropole in the coming months. Participants, young and old, were given the opportunity to attend eight sessions combining health education and physical exercise classes at the local community hall.The roll-out of the project kicked off in Nomzamo.Speaking to those that gathered at the hall, Anda Ntsodo, Mayoral Committee (Mayco) member for Area East, urged those present to take the initiative very seriously.He shared his hope that the programme would be rolled out throughout the province and encouraged older people to join fitness clubs in the communities.JP Smith, Mayco member for Safety and Security, and Social Services, said these diseases cause an estimated 41 million deaths globally every year. The bad foods people should avoid include fizzy drinks and fatty meat, while lack of exercise and inactivity also contributes to the problem. “This can be avoided,” Smith said. “There are three things we want to tell you about today. We want to teach you about the right food you should eat, testing your blood levels and exercising at least 20-30 minutes a day. You also need to eat small portions of food.He added that the City wants its residents to be healthy so they can live longer.Smith challenged older residents to take stock of what they consume, so they can live long enough to see their grandchildren grow up.Nomthandazo Ntlokotshana (73) was ready to take part in the exercises. She told City Vision she was already active and learnt a lot during yesterday’s programme.“The food I eat has kept me fit and healthy,” she said. “I no longer eat fatty meat and mostly cook my vegetables; the food I eat is not high in fat.” All eight sessions of the Live Well Challenge will be held weekly at the community halls of the areas where the programme is being piloted.Each session is structured as follows: . 30-minute health education session followed by a brief group discussion; . biometric assessment (weight, blood, glucose level, and other vital signs) to let participants monitor their progress; and . 30-minute physical exercise. The programme will be run several times, allowing participants to join at any time and complete all eight health education sessions. On completing the sessions participants are encouraged to continue with the weekly exercise class.