Media Release


4 March 2019 – As part of the #WhatsInMyFood campaign HEALA has partnered with 30 schools across Johannesburg to create healthier school environments. Last week, HEALA visited schools in Soweto and Tembisa, where 150 learners participated in discussions around healthy food choices. Learners in each school also came up with solutions on how schools could offer healthier options.

Invited learners were asked to design their own healthy school food environment campaigns and deliver their presentations to their peers and HEALA.

Thando Lamula, HEALA Communications and Advocacy Coordinator said: “The aim is to educate learners about their rights to know what is in their food, the negative health implications of eating unhealthily and to raise awareness on healthy food alternatives.

“The learners showed great enthusiasm for the campaign and were eager to learn about the benefits of eating healthily and healthy food alternatives. Their presentations demonstrated a keen interest in healthier food environments for their schools.”

In 2018 HEALA conducted an audit of the food environment at 61 schools in Soweto and the East Rand, covering 62,883 learners. The aim of the audit was to investigate what food primary and high school learners consume at schools by looking at the school nutrition programmes and what was being sold at tuck-shops and by vendors. The results of which revealed excessive unhealthy food consumption and eating habits among the learners.

The recently launched #WhatsInMyFood Campaign calls for clear labelling on food so as to empower South Africans to make healthier food choices. The campaign aims to campaign is to shift South African’s perception of what is and isn’t healthy and in addition encourage dialogue among South Africans about the harmful contents of unhealthy food sold by the food and beverage industry.

Children are especially vulnerable to the current unhealthy food environment. 1.6 million South African children are considered obese and the condition is rising at a much faster rate than compared to adults.

Obesity is linked to the development of chronic non-communicable diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and strokes, which are among the top 10 causes of death in South Africa, accounting for 43% of deaths1.

For more on the #WhatsInMyFood Campaign visit


For more information, please contact

Thando Lamula
Communications and Advocacy Coordinator, HEALA
074 363 9271

About HEALA 

HEALA is an advocacy group aimed at improving the health of South Africans and creating a healthier food environment for all by empowering South Africans to make healthier food and lifestyle choices to prevent non-communicable diseases.

Facebook: Healthy Living Alliance – HEALA
Twitter: @heala_SA 

NCD Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC). Trends in adult body-mass index in 200 countries from 1975 to 2014: a pooled analysis of 1698 population-based measurement studies with 19·2 million participants. The Lancet. 2016; 387(10026): 1377-96)