How Lack of Access to Nutritious Food Affects You

Wasanga Mehana spoke with the Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Yogan Pillay on ensuring access to nutritious food

FILE: Poor quality food can have devastating effects on anyone’s health and well-being, but especially on children. Photo: 123rf.com

With a number of problems facing South Africans, from unemployment to the high cost of living, one problem that unfortunately affects far too many people is hunger and insufficient access to nutritious food.

Wasanga Mehana spoke with the Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Yogan Pillay, on ensuring access to nutritious food.

For so many South Africans, the only food they have access to is poor quality, processed and high in sugar and salt, which is not good for physical and neurological development, according to Pillay.

Poor quality food can have devastating effects on anyone’s health and well-being, but especially on children.

What you will have then is poor quality nutrition, which results in things like stunted growth, poor cognitive abilities… and then of course what we know now is that the obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, including some of the cancers, have their roots in poor childhood nutrition.

Yogan Pillay, Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Health

This poor quality food is not only detrimental to people but also to the environment as cows produce huge amounts of methane gas and significant amounts of water are used in meat production.

A shift towards plant-based diets will not only help with nutrition, but also limit environmental damage.

Listen to the audio to learn more.

This article first appeared on 702: How Lack of Access to Nutritious Food Affects You

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