To: MEC Panyaza Lesufi and MEC Dr Gwen Ramakgopa, Gauteng Education and Gauteng Health Departments
Sign to demand healthy food for Zithathele Primary School
We want the MECs to ensure tuckshop guidelines are followed and extended to vendors too, and that the guidelines form part of the Integrated Schools Health Policy that finds ways to ensure tuckshops and vendors can make a living while selling healthy food.
We call on government to improve and implement R429, which is a set amendments to regulations. R429 could make it easier to raise healthy children because it stops greedy companies marketing unhealthy food to children under 18 through ads.
Greedy food companies already target children through packaging, print media, in-school marketing, outdoor advertising, cross promotion with kids TV shows and movies, and finally sponsorship. This must be stopped.
Develop rules for cheap, tasty, healthy alternative food and drinks to be available at schools.
Remove all advertising of sugary drinks from schools.
Why is this important?
Ensuring our children aren't hungry is our first priority as a community, but often the cheapest foods are unhealthy and can lead to health issues in our children, now and in the future, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, joint pain and certain cancers, which can be the result of lack of access to healthy food.
We asked your school questions about what food most learners buy for lunch, and most said they buy kotas from vendors with sugary drinks. Learners also bought ice lollies, sweets and ice creams. This is not a balanced diet, and what we eat affects how much we can concentrate, and how sick we will get in the future. We use to have to just worry about HIV/AIDS, TB and other diseases, but now diseases like type 2 diabetes are increasing in our communities.
The other reason we are getting sicker is because greedy junk food companies are aggressively marketing their products in our schools.
But we can change this, if enough of us come together, we can ensure our voices are heard by the the MECs of Education and Health.
If you don’t have email, you can join the campaign for free by dialing this code on your phone *134*1994*456#