As South Africa goes through its winter months, many are experiencing the hunger and food cravings that occur as the days turn colder. As temperatures fall, our appetite seems to spiral out of control - but why is it that we are hungrier in winter?
Studies have shown that as outdoor temperatures drop, the body temperature drops and that is what actually sets up a longing for foods that will warm you the quickest. Shivering triggers a self-preservation mode that sends our body a message to heat up fast. Although all food, including fruits and vegetables, will help create the extra heat we crave, for most it’s the traditional comfort foods that we turn to when it gets colder.1
"In winter we are likely to drink more hot beverages. If using more than a teaspoon of sugar, this could be problematic for weight management. Couple this with a biscuit or two and this can drastically increase your normal energy intake," says Kwa Zulu Natal-based registered dietician Kelly Francis.
While for some it is falling temperatures that sets appetites in motion, for others, it's the decrease in sunlight and an onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) - a type of depression caused by a decrease in light exposure. Predominantly, it occurs in winter but disappears as the days get longer in spring and summer. Those who suffer from SAD seek quick sources of serotonin, which come from carb-heavy meals.
“High fibre carbohydrate breakfast choices, with the addition of protein rich dairy provide sustained energy, naturally stabilizing blood glucose levels and the appetite,” Francis added.
Although our appetites have increased this winter, for many children in South Africa, hunger is a reality they face every day, every season. Today almost one in five children in South Africa goes to school without breakfast, which has a direct impact on their growth and development. Winter temperatures also further increase children’s ability to fight off illness, meaning more learners are sick and missing school in the winter months.2
Kellogg’s South Africa aims to combat this issue with its Breakfasts for Better Days™ initiative. The initiative is continuing to spread the importance message of staying healthy by providing children across the country with a balanced breakfast, giving them the vital fuel they need to learn effectively.
Since the programme’s launch in 2014, over 13 million breakfasts have been served up, with 25 000 children getting a balanced breakfast every school day in Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal, the Eastern and Western Cape provinces. The breakfast offerings include Kellogg’s Corn Flakes Instant Porridge, which provides energy and warmth during the winter.
About Kellogg South Africa Company
Kellogg is the world's leading cereal company. At Kellogg, we are driven to enrich and delight the world through foods and brands that matter. Our brands – Kellogg's®, Corn Flakes, All-Bran®, Special K®, Rice Krispies®, Coco Pops®, Frosties®, Strawberry Pops®, Pringles® - nourish families so they can flourish thrive. Through our Breakfasts for Better Days® initiative, we’re providing 5 million servings of cereal and milk, provided by Clover, to South African school children by the end of 2016. To learn more about Kellogg, visit the website: www.bfbd.co.za, Facebook: www.facebook.com/KelloggsSA or follow on Twitter @KelloggsZA.
1 MCALLISTER, RALLIE (2004) Healthy Lunchbox: The Working Mom’s Guide to Keeping You and Your Kids Trim. Lifeline Press. ISBN-10: 0895260581
2 Shisana O, Labadarios D, Rehle T, Simbayi L, Zuma K, Dhansay A, Reddy P, Parker W, Hoosain E, Naidoo P, Hongoro C, Mchiza Z, Steyn NP, Dwane N, Makoae M, Maluleke T, Ramlagan S, Zungu N, Evans MG, Jacobs L, Faber M, & SANHANES-1 Team (2013). South African National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (SANHANES-1). Cape Town: HSRC Press.
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