As Africa grows more prosperous, obesity grows as a problem

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The advertisements for junk food are everywhere.

Plenty for the price of one,” says a billboard for super-sized sodas looming over a major highway.

“Bigger pieces,” says a poster for a “Pride Bucket” of drumsticks.

Colonel Sanders, the KFC icon, is a familiar face in malls.

But this is not the United States. It’s Lusaka, the teeming capital of Zambia.

To many residents, the rise of processed food here is a sign of economic progress in a region that has long struggled against poverty and hunger. But First World changes have come with a First World problem: obesity.

In Zambia — as across much of Africa — people are getting fatter.

World Health Organization survey last year found that 15.3% of African women are obese, up from 11.4% a decade earlier. The rate for men more than doubled to 5.6% from 2.5%.

Photo courtesy of Leander Wattig.

Source: LA Times (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
nutrition, public health