Report from the Association for Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA)
  • ADSA’s vision is to represent and develop the dietetic profession to contribute towards achieving optimal nutrition for all South Africans.  As registered professionals in the field of dietetics and nutrition we support and promote the continued growth of the profession of dietetics in South Africa.  The primary aims of the association are to serve the interests of dietitians in South Africa and promote the nutritional wellbeing of the community.
     
    The year saw the term of the old executive coming to an end, and a new executive taking over. The past executive, under the presidency of Ms Berna Harmse, did an excellent job and they have, amongst their achievements, ensured that the biggest ever nutrition congress in Africa was held in South Africa from 30 September 2012 to 4 October 2012. The theme of the congress was “Transforming the nutrition landscape in Africa”. The congress was a joint scientific meeting of the 24th Congress of the Nutrition Society of South Africa, the 12th Congress of the Association for Dietetics in South Africa and the 5th African Nutrition Epidemiology Conference.
     
    The congress was attended by around 1000 experts, researchers, nutritionists, and policy makers in nutrition from all over Africa and abroad.
     
    The 2013-2015 Executive Committee takes office
    The new ADSA Executive Committee for the 2013-2015 term was announced on the 1st of July 2013, which was the day on which they officially took charge; and their term will end in June 2015. The core executive committee, together with the branch chairpersons of the 11 branches, met at the VDW offices in Bryanston at the end of July 2013. The new team is committed to promoting dietitians and the profession and various aspects were discussed to take the association and profession forward.
     
    Some exciting changes and projects ADSA will be focussing on include a comprehensive PR and communication strategy that will include upgrading our website and linking it to our social media platforms – Twitter and Facebook. So be sure to visit www.adsa.org.za by the beginning of October and start following ADSA on Twitter. Social media and conventional media platforms will be used more actively to communicate key messages to the public and our members utilising the expertise of dietitians with various fields of interest (our ADSA Spokespeople).  
     
    ADSA continues to be an association which is prepared to listen to its members and to serve them to the best of its ability. Herewith, the committee which is entrusted with the responsibility of serving dietitians in South Africa for the next two years:
     
    Name Portfolio
    Claire Julsing Strydom President
    Maryke Gallagher (van Zyl) Public Relations
    Wellington Mokoena Communications
    Alpha Rasekhala Representation
    Robin Dolman CPD
    Lila Bruk Sponsorship
    Pontsho Malibe Public Sector
    Jenny Meyer PPD
    Linda Drummond Membership
     
    National Nutrition Week 2013
    The National Nutrition Week has grown in leaps and bounds over the past few years and it has indeed become the flagship nutrition celebration and awareness on the South African health calender. The initiative is led by the National Department of Health, and focuses on a new theme each year. The theme drives the kind of initiatives that can be implemented during the week and it runs from 9th – 15th October every year. In recent years a common element has been the work done to generate media coverage on the key messages of the awareness week. The theme for 2013 is “Eat less: Choose your portion with caution”. Obesity levels, as well as diseases of the lifestyle are steadily rising in South Africa and one of the mitigating factors is the portion sizes which are consumed by people.

    The three key messages for 2013
    • Choose a variety of foods from different food groups and only eat recommended amounts
    • Make portion control a daily way of life
    • Use salt and salt-containing foods sparingly
    ADSA sponsors the website for the partners for the week; www.nutritionweek.co.za. This site also hosts archives of material from past weeks, especially those resources that can be used on other occasions.
     
    Wellington Mokoena
    ADSA Executive Committee - Communications Portfolio