A review of dietary surveys in the adult South African population from 2000-2015
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One serious concern of health policymakers in South Africa is the fact that there 34 is no national data on the dietary intake of adult South Africans. The only national dietary 35 study was done in children in 1999. Hence it becomes difficult to plan intervention and 36 strategies to combat malnutrition without national data on adults. The current review 37 consequently assessed all dietary studies in adults from 2000 to June 2015 in an attempt to 38 portray typical adult dietary intakes and to assess possible dietary deficiencies. Notable 39 findings were that, in South Africa micronutrient deficiencies are still highly prevalent and 40 energy intakes varied between very low intakes in informal settlements to very high intakes 41 in urban centres. The most commonly deficient food groups observed are fruit and 42 vegetables, and dairy. This has been attributed to high prices and lack of availability of 43 these food groups in poorer urban areas and townships. In rural areas access to healthy 44 foods also remains a problem. A national nutrition monitoring system is recommended in 45 order to identify dietary deficiencies in specific population groups.