VIDEO: How pregnancy, poverty and obesity collide

Written by Kim Harrisberg

Lucky Nkosi is eight months pregnant and weighs 120 kg. Unemployment has meant that healthy lifestyle choices are not always affordable to her. This puts her and her baby at risk.

With the highest obesity rates in sub-Saharan Africa and tens of thousands of new diabetes cases diagnosed every month, South Africa is experiencing a health crisis akin to the HIV epidemic.

Lucky Nkosi, a pregnant and obese mother from Alexandra township, is living this crisis on a daily basis. Nkosi is a part of the 70-percent of obese and overweight women in South Africa at risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.

As obesity is a form of malnutrition, it puts pregnant women’s babies at risk of various birth defects, including stunting and early-onset diabetes. The expense associated with healthy foods means making healthier lifestyle choices is entwined with poverty, something that’s a reality for millions of South Africans.

WATCH Lucky’s story below:

This video first appeared on eNCA, Health24 and SABC’s Health Talk.

About the author

Kim Harrisberg