The Nutrition Task Force (NTF) was established by the ILSI SA Board of trustees in 2014. This Task Force was initiated in response to the emerging priorities on nutrition and related public health concerns such as food security, nutrition transition, obesity and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in South Africa (SA).

The NTF comprises public trustees from the Department of Health, Academic Institutions and Non-Governmental Organizations in SA as well as member company representatives. The Vision of the NTF is the following:

ILSI SA NTF intends to contribute in relevant and meaningful ways to nutrition science informed by the pertinent needs identified for the SA population, through collaborative partnerships between academia, government and the industry.  The ILSI SA NTF will work to build, support and promote local relevant nutrition and public health science and capacity across the lifespan.

A key project being investigated by the NTF is a National Dietary Intake Study of the South African population across all demographics. The objectives of the study are to obtain an understanding of the macro- and micronutrient profile of the typical South African diet in relation to their anthropometric status and in the process to:

  • Understand dietary habits at individual, household and population levels;
  • Determine nutrient adequacy (including both macro and micronutrient adequacy) amongst the population;
  • Identify nutrition-related problems (under-nutrition, over-nutrition and deficiencies)
  • Determine dietary intakes and risk of disease

This undertaking aims to add value to the following stakeholders in their efforts:

Government

  • To develop / amend relevant policies &/or strategies
  • To target appropriate health and nutrition interventions for the South African population
  • To assign resources to areas requiring the most need

Academia

  • creating opportunities for research and publishing important scientific data; building capacity in South Africa through sponsored Master / PhD projects.

Industry

  • providing data to help inform strategies on innovation / renovation of food products with the aim of contributing to a healthier lifestyle for South Africans & to align future product development with Government policies & strategies.

Health Professionals: assisting this sector to provide informed advice based on a nationally-conducted scientific assessment, on health and nutrition matters to patients, clients & other.
The general public: as a culmination of the scientific evidence collected and successful collaboration of the aforementioned stakeholders, the provision of guidance on nutrition relevant to the country.

For more detailed information please contact Sharon Beeming from the ILSI Secretariat at sharonB@turnergroup.co.za; telephone: +27 31 368 8000.