David Sanders: Activist, Teacher, Scholar and Public Health Practitioner

Dave Sanders

David Sanders 1945-2019

Professor David Sanders , an activist, scholar, colleague, mentor, role model and friend to health activists around the world passed away in Wales on 30th August after a heart attack. David was a founding member of the People’s Health Movement in 2000 and the co-chair of PHM for the past six years. A pediatrician by qualification, David was very much interested in the issues of public health. He went on to head the School of Public Health at University of Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa from its inception in 1993 till 2009.

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People’s Health Movement: A Call to Action on Nutrition, Food Security and Food Sovereignty

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In a commentary, in World Nutrition,  David Sanders, Claudio Schuftan, and Vandana Prasad write, “There are common roots underlying both under and ‘over-nutrition’ in our globalized world. These pertain to the impact on food systems of current practices related to food production, processing, manufacture, distribution, trade and commerce, as well as to the power differentials between those who are most affected by and those who benefit most from the current food system.

The unregulated penetration of food and beverage companies and the aggressive marketing of processed and ultra-processed foods have been severely compounding the problem of malnutrition and the underlying food insecurity.  This process is driven by mega agribusiness conglomerates and transnational food and beverage corporations through the employment of technologies and practices that are energy intensive and ecologically unsustainable, and that are also implicated in environmental degradation and climate change… In sum, malnutrition in all its forms, food insecurity and the erosion of food sovereignty are all socially and politically determined.  It is inadequate to acknowledge the continuing crisis of malnutrition and the inequalities it engenders without addressing their political roots and the conditions that perpetuate this.”