Promoting healthier diets in African cities

Diet-related non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and stroke account for a third of all deaths and half of all hospital admissions in Kenya. Unhealthy eating, and the growing number of people who are overweight and obese, is also a big problem in many other African countries, particularly in urban areas. This column reports on efforts to find government actions that can help to curb these trends.

Africa is experiencing a nutritional transition. Dietary patterns are changing as globalization contributes to food environments that are teeming with tempting but unhealthy choices that were unavailable a few decades ago.

The large and rapid shift of populations across the continent from rural to urban areas, where such foods are cheap and available on every corner, means that…

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