South African children eat too much junk food, spend too much time in front of screens and do not get enough exercise, putting them at risk of a host of life-threatening diseases in later life, according to a study released on Wednesday by Discovery Health. "We should be outraged because so much of it is not in their control," said Vicki Lambert, head of exercise science and sports medicine at the University of Cape Town (UCT). The government was introducing sound policies to improve children’s nutrition, such as a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, but parents, schools and communities could do much more, Lambert said. The 2016 Healthy Active Kids SA Report Card — the fourth of its kind — draws on the last five years of published data on children’s health. Children scored a C for overall physical activity and a D for weight, a slight improvement on the 2014 report card when they scored an overall D. On average, children watch three hours of television a day, only half do sport at sch...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now