Cape Town — National Nutrition Week, from 9 to 15 October 2017, highlights malnutrition and encourages residents to make better food and lifestyle choices to lower their risk of developing chronic disease such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
‘Nutrition is not just about the type and amount of food and drink we consume. It’s also about the choices we make when it comes to our daily average physical activity,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Area North, Councillor Suzette Little.
This year’s theme for National Nutrition Week is ‘Rethink your drink, choose water’.
‘Switching from sugary drinks to water is the best option to quench a thirst. Cape Town is in the midst of a drought crisis, but that doesn’t mean we cannot make good beverage choices. We encourage residents to save as much water as possible, while we realise that drinking water is essential for good health,’ said Councillor Little.
The week also puts a spotlight on those who do not have access to healthy nutritional options.
Between April 2016 and March 2017, City facilities recorded a total of 1 400 underweight children: 926 under the age of two, and 474 aged between two and five. Of those, 260 children had severe acute malnutrition.
Together with the Western Cape Government, the City administers a Nutrition Therapeutic Programme that helps identify and treat malnourished patients.
Malnourished clients are placed on the programme and receive products like porridge and peanut butter to supplement their nutritional needs. They are sent for consultations with dieticians to monitor their progress and, where relevant, social services are alerted to manage any contributing factors in the home or community.
"We must also be mindful of the fact that over-eating is as problematic as eating too little, or not eating enough of the right foods. Obesity is also a public health challenge and the City’s Health Department has programmes to develop public awareness, improve nutrition services, and promote behavioural change, said Councillor Little.
"Awareness and education to prevent avoidable medical conditions and make the most of our precious natural resources are in line with the City’s Organisational Development and Transformation Plan. The City is committed to providing basic primary healthcare and ensuring the health and well-being of all our residents."
Replacing sugary, fizzy and carbonated drinks with healthier options can be easily incorporated into your water-saving routine while still meeting the 87-litre per day usage requirement.