cynthia mbolela | 09 October, 2008 10:40

Most people around the world are not following a healthy diet due to their life style and their eating habit. That is why in November 1986 an international conference on health promotion was held in Ottawa, so that solutions could be found to provide a healthy life style and a healthy diet for everybody around the world.

According to the Ottawa Charter, Health promotion is defined as a course of action which will help people around the world to take care of their health by following a healthy diet.

The health promotion features many different approaches; it can be seen as a supporter of a healthy diet in the social, economic and personal development and it can also ensure that people have equal access to healthy resources available.

In this essay I will discuss the health promotion approach and the different ways in which healthy diet affect our life and I will also look at the ways in which the University of Cape Town promotes a healthy diet.


The health promotion approach is not supported by the public organisation but it also supported by the government itself. The government is involved in the process because it ensures that people follow a healthy diet and its involvement is done through making easy access for healthy food, banning smoke in certain public places and making the access of alcohol difficult at certain times and especially for youngster, etc.

The environment is very important regarding health issues because it provides a healthy society for everybody. The places people live, work or even eat are part of our environment and therefore they need to be maintained healthy to avoid chronic diseases among the population. That is why dust bin must be available to avoid litter, every public and private places must be maintained clean, etc.

 The healthy promotion also strengthens the community by providing social support and by teaching the community best ways of staying healthy. That is why association have been formed to develop people skills so that every one could make better choices for their health. Therefore each country must have at least dieticians, gymnastics to look after the community health.

The health promotion approach make the community aware of their unhealthy diet and life style so that people could change the way they eat, they could be avoid unhealthy food daily and exercise more by introducing healthy equipment and methods to stay healthy.

A healthy diet is what it is needed to have the right weight, the right height, the energy to function daily and a longer life. That is why the food people eat daily play an important role in their life. Eating unhealthy food lead to an unhealthy life such being overweight (obesity) or having chronic diseases (cancer, diabetes) and these consequences result to a shorter life (early death).

The body needs to consume the right to food and this does not mean that people should avoid junk food but however it means that they should not eat it often ( for example: a small packet of chocolate a day). Consuming these type of food often reduce the body energy, create more fat in our body and lead to diabetes, obesity and other diseases. To avoid that type of life people need to have a balanced diet which means to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, bread or cereal or potatoes daily and in addition to it they also need to exercise.

Globalisation has changed people’s life style and diet because more and more unhealthy food are provided to everybody, and it is very difficult to avoid because they are everywhere (in every shops, streets and even house). Television and adverts also plays a major role in that as they most of the time displays and advert unhealthy food as best food to have during breakfast lunch or supper.


Through the experience I had by trying to live on less than R16 per day, I realised that I was consuming less junk food because I was only relied on my healthy lunch box and since I did not have enough money I could not buy any type of food at campus.

This experience helps me identify the way in which the University of Cape Town promotes healthy environment.

On the upper campus we have many cafes selling different type of food in different prices. I realised that students on campus have easy access to unhealthy food and most café mostly sell junk food than healthy food. The eating venues of unhealthy food are easy to access them than the ones for healthy food. Examples of this are java café, café quencha selling more unhealthy food on the leslie social science building which are easy to access. However the Africa quezen selling healthy lunch behind the commerce building are difficult to access it and some students are not even aware of it.

There is only one fruit store on campus that I am aware of and it is not easy to access it when you are on the other side of the campus. But unfortunately there are vending machines every where only selling unhealthy food such as chocolate and chips.        

In the interview I had with some students they said that most of the time they are on campus, they tend to eat more unhealthy food because for some they said it is cheap to buy them than a healthy lunch and some said it is the only type of food they found available whenever they are hungry.

Some of those students were not aware of the food needed for a healthy diet, they tend to eat the foods they like (which taste nice) and what is easily available for them at a good price, without being aware of the amount of fat or cholesterol in those kinds of food.

Most students like to have chips, muffin, chip roll, donought, hot chocolate, coke or chocolate for lunch instead of having vegetables (which are nit available at campus often).

The only way to help students to make a healthy choice of foods is by making healthy food available all around the campus. They should more fruit stores on campus as well as more juice and healthy yoghourt available in vending machines for students. So that they will be encourage to eat healthy.    

Because the health promotion is about ensuring that people have enough resources available the University of Cape Town needs to follow that step by making enough healthy food and resources available for students, so that they could have a balanced diet whenever they are on campus. To do so, the Campus cafés should sell less junk food, they should ban smoking in public and create a smoking area for smokers, and the campus should have at least two gymnastics and swimming pool available for students, in addition to that there should teach students how to stay healthy.


In this blog I have looked the basics of a healthy diet and the health promotion approach to provide a balanced diet for everybody, I have shown how globalisation affects people’s health everyday. This research was done by looking at the ways in which the University of Cape Town promote a healthy life style for students in a daily basis. Through this research I have realised the campus need to reduce the number of unhealthy food available in café and vending machines. It also needs to change the eating venues by making healthy food easily available for students and they should be every where. This process would help students to have a balanced diet. 



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