Guest: Brittany Kesselman.
South Africa faces a double burden of hunger and malnutrition, on the one hand, and
obesity with associated non-communicable diseases (NCDs), on the other. In many
countries, in both the global North and South, malnutrition and obesity frequently coexist
in the same people. This is a condition known as “hidden hunger”.
Hidden hunger is a result of various factors. These include poverty, inequality, urbanisation and industrialisation of the food system. The interplay of these factors
leaves low income households with very limited access to fresh, healthy foods. Instead,
many South Africans – and other people living in similar conditions – subsist on diets
high in sugar and processed starch. These diets contribute to increasing levels of
obesity. But they don’t meet nutritional needs.
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