Food insecurity in households in informal settlements in urban South Africa

N. Naicker, A. Mathee, J. Teare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Food insecurity in the urban poor is a major public health challenge. The Health, Environment and Development study assessed trends in food insecurity and food consumption over a period of 7 years in an informal settlement in Johannesburg, South Africa (SA). Annual cross-sectional surveys were conducted in the informal settlement (Hospital Hill). The degree of household food insecurity decreased significantly from 2006 (85%) to 2012 (70%). There was a spike in 2009 (91%), possibly owing to global food price increases. Childhood food insecurity followed the same trend as household food insecurity. During the first 3 study years, consumption of protein, vegetables and fruit decreased by 10 - 20%, but had returned to previous levels by 2012. In this study, although declining, food insecurity remains unacceptably high. Hunger relief and poverty alleviation need to be more aggressively implemented in order to improve the quality of life in poor urban communities in SA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-270
Number of pages3
JournalSouth African Medical Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Food insecurity in households in informal settlements in urban South Africa'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this