Super-size South Africa: the role of the supermarket

Supermarkets offer consumers a wide rage of processed food options. (Credit: Flickr/ Sean MacEntee)

Does the expansion of supermarkets across the country have anything to do with our expanding waist-lines?Obesity in South Africa has hit epidemic proportions. But while the science is clear about the extent of our expanding waist lines, it is not as easy to quantify the why. Where lies the responsibility of the individual when we grow, learn and age in a “toxic” food environment? Fast food outlets are known villains but a growing body of evidence is questioning the role played by the seemingly innocuous supermarket in creating a super-sized South Africa.   

South African women are one of the most severely obese populations in the world ranking ninth out of 186 countries in 2014, according to a study published in the medical journal the Lancet in April. The nation’s obese women account for 2.7 percent of all the severely obese women on the planet.

And it’s not only adults who are tipping the scales…..more

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