The nutrition challenges facing South Africa are complex and underpinned by historical and current inequalities, while undernutrition coexists with the rising incidence of obesity and non-communicable diseases, say experts.
South Africa’s child support grant — introduced in 1998 and currently at R420 a month — intended to improve the wellbeing of young children by reducing malnutrition. Over 20 years later, that is not the case.
The World Health Organisation recommends that infants should be breastfed exclusively for the first six months to achieve optimal growth, development and health – but it’s not always possible.
Children, especially in rural areas, are turning away from school feeding schemes because they fear being judged for being poor by their fellow learners, despite being hungry. HEALTH-E NEWS spoke to learners and experts about the stigma of hunger and its effect on children’s health and education.
Poor nutrition in early childhood has a number of negative consequences for people later in life, according to Professor Daniela Casale, from Wits University’s School of Economic and Business Sciences.