With the severity of lifestyle diseases on the rise, social development has come up with a programme for schools that will encourage a healthy lifestyle.
The programme will assess the health of both teachers and pupils.
According to the executive head of social development, Mr Wandile Zwane, the healthy lifestyle school programme aims at instilling responsible eating and healthy choices from a young age.
“Lifestyle illnesses, such as type two diabetes, cardio-vascular disease, hypertension and obesity, are some of the leading causes of premature deaths,” said Mr Zwane.
The programme will help create a healthier school environment and will encourage teachers and pupils to live healthier lives.
The programme will implement simple health initiatives and will help pupils and teachers to eat correctly and to remain active at school.
“Leading a healthy lifestyle is more than just watching what you eat. It is more about establishing a lifestyle and encouraging those around you to follow,” said Mr Zwane.
For schools to be part of the programme, the school needs to register complete activities in the healthy lifestyle school programme. The school will then be rewarded.
The department has partnered with the Department of Education to make the healthy lifestyle programme a part of the curriculum.
Discovery Vitality is also involved, and is offering a teacher’s course regarding the health programme.
The programme will not only work with the pupils and teachers, it will also involve the tuck shops at schools. The programme will seek to encourage healthier eating options
The programme is a community programme, which will see pupils involving their parents as well.
It is still in the registration stage and it aims to get one hundred schools registered. By the third term, the programme will be implemented at participating schools.
Mr Zwane said the goal is to get all the schools in Johanneburg into the programme.
After that, they will move to early childhood development, so that children will grow up understanding the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.