|A South African businessman|
Obesity rates are skyrocketing in sub-Saharan Africa, as in most parts of the world. But here the obesity problem has an unusual and particularly worrying shape.
While child hunger has traditionally been the more pressing problem in African countries, researchers say that malnourished, growth-stunted children are turning into overweight adults.
In South Africa, the most developed country in sub-Saharan Africa, 61 percent of adults are obese, according to research released by GlaxoSmithKlineThis means that countries still wracked by malnutrition, as well as infectious diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS, are facing a battery of chronic health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.
What’s more, new research has found that babies born to overweight or obese mothers are far more likely to die — a devastating problem in sub-Saharan African countries that already have some of the world’s highest infant mortality rates.