Is vitamin D status associated with non-communicable disease risk in children? A cohort study

The classical function of vitamin D is to facilitate the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) for skeletal mineralisation. However, recent evidence suggests that vitamin D status may be associated with a variety of non-communicable disease (NCD) risks (such as hypertension, obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes mellitus to mention but a few). The mechanisms by which hypovitaminosis D might be related to these diseases remain unclear, although vitamin D may influence immunomodulation, insulin release and cardiovascular function. Vitamin D status is dependent on both dietary intake and cutaneous synthesis through exposure to ultraviolet β radiation, the latter being affected by factors such as latitude, season, skin pigmentation, lifestyle and cultural practices.

Objective understanding of five front-of-pack labels among consumers in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa

The South African food environment has changed rapidly since the 1990s. Due to the influx of trade and investment by international food and beverage manufacturers and the dominance of chain supermarkets, ultra-processed high fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) foods have become widely available, affordable and acceptable. The steep increase in the consumption of HFSS foods has contributed to the upward trend of obesity and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Assessing infant and young child feeding priorities to inform the development of a nutrition social and behaviour change communication (SBCC) strategy during a pandemic threat

Global estimates identify 47 million children under 5 being wasted in 2019, of whom 14.3 million were severely wasted with 144 million being stunted. Around 45% of deaths among children under 5 years of age are linked to undernutrition, which mostly occurs in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).2 Child stunting and other forms of malnutrition are associated with lower dietary diversity, with food insecurity and poor household food choices contributing to the lack in meeting children’s nutrient requirements.

Assessment of the realisation of the right to adequate food in the Blue Crane Route (Eastern Cape, South Africa)

Global and in-country commitments to the realisation of the right to adequate food (RtF) are not reflected in the situation experienced by communities in South Africa. Despite international recognition of the RtF as a fundamental human right, undernutrition affects 13% of the population in developing countries. There is enough food available globally but the unequal distribution and lack of access to food still results in many food-insecure individuals. The South African government has made a commitment to the progressive realisation of the RtF by ratifying international Human Rights instruments and embedding the RtF and nutrition in the Constitution. Yet, 26% of the country’s population remain food insecure with more than half a million South African households with children aged five years or younger experiencing hunger.

Carbohydrate counting in type 1 diabetes mellitus: dietitians’ perceptions, training and barriers to use

Carbohydrate counting is one of the dietary management approaches that can be used in the management of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). It can be used by those with T1DM who use either multiple daily injections (basal bolus regime) or continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion to manage their diabetes. It focuses on carbohydrates as the primary macronutrient affecting postprandial glycaemic response and is used to adjust insulin dose levels according to the carbohydrate content of the meal. With carbohydrate counting, the patient is made aware of the effect of carbohydrate-containing foods on blood glucose levels. Patients are taught to quantify the amount of carbohydrates by visualisation using education tools like plate models or hand portions.

The battle against ultra-processed food consumption in a post-COVID-19 era

Ultra-processed foods (UPFs) are “formulations of food substances often modified by chemical processes and then assembled into ready-to-consume hyper-palatable food and drink products using flavours, colours, emulsifiers and a myriad of other cosmetic additives”.  Advances in food manufacturing technology have resulted in UPFs that not only have an extended shelf-life but more importantly, have greater desirable organoleptic properties. These products have gained popularity worldwide as they are “ready-to-consume” or “ready-to-heat” making them very convenient to consumers. They are also readily available, cheap and easy to access.


Health Professions Council of South Africa


3 Clinical 


3 Clinical


Attempts allowed: 2

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South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition - August 2022 - Vol 35 Issue 3