Overweight and obesity has emerged as a concern among children of primary-school-age, along with worrisome trends in associated non-communicable diseases in early childhood.

Persistence of Child Malnutrition in South Africa (CHILDREN)

While self-reported hunger of children has reduced in South Africa, stunting has remained high for a middle-income country, and largely unchanged since 1993. Similarly, the prevalence of some micronutrient deficiencies has improved, but not to the levels that would be expected given both South Africa’s wealth and the introduction of fortification and supplementation programmes.

In addition, overweight and obesity has emerged as a concern among children of primary-school-age, along with worrisome trends in associated non-communicable diseases (NCD) in early childhood. This programme seeks to identify trends, determinants and consequences of food insecurity for mothers and children in South Africa, as well as propose policy and innovative solutions to address these challenges.

Child Case Studies: Bowel and Bowl

Child Laboratory Research

Child Case Studies: Social Protection of Children

Child Secondary Data Analysis

Professor Julian May


Related Articles & publications
Food security and nutrition: Impure, complex and wicked?

By Julian May, October 2017 Food security and nutrition are receiving renewed attention in international and national policy agendas. This has been accompanied by a profusion of theoretical concepts borrowed from diverse disciplines and then employed to describe challenges to achieving ...

Local food geographies: The nature and extent of food insecurity in South...

Food insecurity is a challenge for most countries in the Global South. South Africa is no exception – a significant proportion of its population still remains in poverty and is therefore vulnerable to food insecurity. This paper argues that although South ...

Principal Investigators

Professor Julian May

UWC based Professor Julian May, is director of the CoE in Food Security, and the UNESCO Chair in African Food...

Social Protection for Food Security

One in five children display stunted growth. Yet since South Africa's democratic transition in 1994, social protection programmes have increased dramatically.

Food Politics and Cultures: Humanities Approaches to Food

The POLITICS Programme explores human relationships to food, the power dynamics around food production and access and the meanings that food acquires in particular cultural and social contexts.

The Symbolic Construction of Food Consumption in the Context of Food Insecurity

The consumption of food is situated within the social construction of reality. Cultural and religious symbols inevitably construct and distort the ways in which food is selected, prepared and consumed.

Food Governance and Policy Reform

The POLICY programme facilitates dialogue between researchers, the community and policy makers to inform policy making and shape research.

Shelves, Baskets and Plates

The PLATES programme investigates the dietary intake of poor and vulnerable South Africans, and details the food environments that shape food preferences and choices.

Food safety hazards that affect food security and how these can be...

If food is not handled, stored, distributed and prepared correctly, it can become contaminated and no longer be fit for human consumption.

Innovation and Technology for Enterprise Development

Organisational and technological innovations of food systems can help maintain and improve livelihoods through enterprise development for food security.

Understanding the National and Global Food System

The SYSTEMS programme is concerned with the structure, dynamics and influences on the South African food system and how this is changing.