Environment South Africans urged to rethink their love of unhealthy fast food in...

South Africans urged to rethink their love of unhealthy fast food in Covid era

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As South Africans prepare to return to a new way of life beyond the Covid-19 lockdown, a healthy food franchise is asking them to ditch their “abnormal” bad habits of binging on fast foods.

Now, more than ever, South Africans have good reason to make healthier decisions, as staying fit and healthy to boost our immune systems becomes vital. 

Kauai Warm Bowl – Spicy Avo Greens

“The Covid pandemic is an unprecedented event and devastating on multiple levels – family, business and staff – both in SA and globally,” says Kauai CEO Dean Kowarski.

“It has made me seriously consider priorities – what is important, what matters, what is normal and what is abnormal. 

“Covid has reinforced the importance of nutrition. Hopefully many more people now understand the effects of lifestyle choices like what we eat on diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and so on, and how these non-communicable diseases then put you in a much higher risk category should you get Covid or other illnesses.”

Kowarski says it’s important now to increase our intake of immune-boosting natural nutrient dense foods like brightly coloured vegetables (deep greens, reds, oranges – with the bright colour signals the presence of important phytonutrients our bodies need), and probiotic foods such as yoghurt and sourdough bread, which keep our gut healthy and thus strengthen the immune system.

With National Nutrition and Obesity Week having kicked off on Friday, the focus is on the country’s nutrition habits, looking at our continuing battle with obesity and how diet-related non-communicable diseases have seriously undermined many people’s defences to the virus. 

Kauai has expanded on the idea of rebuilding a new, healthier normal by launching its ‘Don’t go back to abnormal’ conversation-starter campaign. South Africans are asked to take an honest look at what was perceived as normal before the pandemic and whether they would like to go back to this abnormal “normal” or instead make a positive change going forward.

Despite the devastating impact of the coronavirus on our country, it has given us an opportunity to think differently, and talk about re-imagining and rebuilding our country in better ways. 

The 2020 theme for National Nutrition and Obesity Week is ‘good nutrition for good immunity’, and Kauai has set up billboards as part of its campaign to help South Africans rethink their unhealthy love of fast food. 

“If Covid-19 has taught us anything it’s that we’re living in a world where our health cannot be taken for granted.  Unfortunately, junk food laden with sugar and trans-fats, preservatives and additives has become a lifestyle standard for many, and tragically, an aspiration for millions more,” Kowarski says.

Kauai Range Shot

“Kauai is calling this out as abnormal.  For us, healthy eating is normal – enjoying fresh, natural, delicious whole foods with fruit and veggies that support your immune system and improve your overall health. 

“We feel so strongly about this that Kauai will be making the choice to eat healthy easier by offering a one-off 50% discount to any South African during October via our app.”
In addition, the #DontGoBackToAbnormal platform has been created for South Africans to start conversations that matter. What is really good for us and worth taking forward? What is not serving us and should be left behind?  

Kowarski says: “Kauai is calling out bad eating habits as abnormal, but we want this campaign to spark different broader conversations about other abnormal situations that South Africans have accepted as normal in their everyday lives.” 

Watch as Kowarski chats about ‘Don’t go back to abnormal’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjVkJsgyT2k