Just recently, we wrote about undernutrition in Chad. This time, we will be spotlighting the reverse case, Overnutrition. Urbanization on the African continent is slowly leading to an adoption of fast foods. Fast foods are mainly high energy dense foods which have been linked to weight gain and obesity in the West. A 1998 study of 13,089 men and women in South Africa classified 29.2% of the men and 56.6% of the women as either overweight or obese. In the same study, Urban women were found to have the highest rates of obesity.
In contrast to the West, Fast Food Chains enjoy an “aspirational” image on the African continent. For instance, when a branch of KFC opened its doors in Nairobi last year, customers were willing to queue up for 90 minutes for the fried chicken. African nations are becoming an emerging market for these Fast Food Chains. Recently, MacDonald, the US fast food giant, announced that in 2011, 22% of its profits came from Africa, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. Are we going to see wider waistlines in the future generation?