Targeting the whole family is necessary finds recent ECD Study in Nelson Mandela Bay

South Africa current has a problem called the “double burden of disease”. This means we are tackling diseases and problems caused by being underweight and malnourished, as well as diseases and problems causes by being overweight of obese. We have both extremes. Childhood overweight and obesity is becoming a growing problem around the world and in South Africa. Childhood obesity can lead to many other conditions that will develop during their teenage and young adult years. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart conditions and adult obesity.

 A study has been done Nelson Mandela Bay to find out if there is a link between a family’s diet, exercise and diseases and obesity in children of the family. Parents meetings were held at 20 different creches in areas such as Kwazakele, New Brighton, Motherwell and others. Parents filled out a questionnaire about their health, diet and exercise. This was then compared to their child’s measurements which were done by a mentor at the creche earlier in the year.

 Teresa Wilson, completing her Masters in Dietetics at Nelson Mandela University writes that, “It is hoped that the study will reveal underlying causes of childhood overweight and obesity. This information will help promote healthcare that targets the whole family. It will also highlight the importance of good nutrition in the household from childhood.”

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Sakha Esethu