Food security exists when all people within a society, at all times, have enough nutritious and safe food for an active, healthy lifestyle. Significant sectors of the South African society continue to experience high levels of chronic under-nutrition as well as nutritional deficiencies. At the same time, obesity among adults and children is a growing public health problem in the country and is accelerating the burden of food-related non-communicable disease in both poor and middle-class populations.

The spectrum of work within this programme includes: an exploration of food consumption patterns; the safety of the food on the plate, possible effects (on nutrition and health) of appropriate, affordable and accessible interventions to improve the amount and quality of food on the plate, as well as the impact of changing food systems in the country on the content of the “plate”, and subsequent consequences for the nutrition and health of the population. This programme also explores the role of food systems (and changes within the food system)  on dietary intake; which is necessary towards achieving the SDGs.