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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 17; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010017

Food and Nutrition Insecurity in Selected Rural Communities of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa—Linking Human Nutrition and Agriculture

1
Dietetics and Human Nutrition, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X01, Scottsville 3209, Pietermaritzburg 3201, South Africa
2
Crop Science, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X01, Scottsville 3209, Pietermaritzburg 3201, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 17 November 2016 / Revised: 19 December 2016 / Accepted: 22 December 2016 / Published: 27 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [329 KB, uploaded 28 December 2016]

Abstract

Lack of access to nutritious and balanced diets remains a major impediment to the health and well-being of people living in rural areas. The study utilizes a qualitative systematic approach to conduct an environmental scan and review of scientific literature of studies conducted in South Africa, specifically KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Availability and access to nutritious, diverse and balanced diets were identified as key constraints for achieving food and nutrition security as well as for human health and well-being. This has led to both under- and over-nutrition, with the former, in particular stunting, affecting children under 5 years. A high incidence of over-nutrition, both overweight and obesity, was observed among black African females. In South Africa, poor people rely mostly on social grants and cannot afford a balanced diet. Under these circumstances, agriculture could be used to increase availability and access to diverse and nutritious foods for the attainment of a balanced diet. The wider use of traditional vegetable crops and pulses could improve availability and access to healthy and locally available alternatives. The promotion of household and community food gardens, and the use of nutrient dense crops with low levels of water use, i.e., high nutritional water productivity, offers prospects for addressing malnutrition in poor rural areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: agriculture; balanced diets; food and nutrition security; human health; over- and under-nutrition agriculture; balanced diets; food and nutrition security; human health; over- and under-nutrition
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Govender, L.; Pillay, K.; Siwela, M.; Modi, A.; Mabhaudhi, T. Food and Nutrition Insecurity in Selected Rural Communities of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa—Linking Human Nutrition and Agriculture. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 17.

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