Los Angeles Times

In Africa, prosperity invites obesity

LUSAKA, Zambia - The advertisements for junk food are everywhere.

"Plenty for the price of one," says a billboard for supersize sodas looming over a major highway.

"Bigger pieces," says a poster for a "Pride Bucket" of drumsticks.

Colonel Sanders, the KFC icon, is a familiar face in malls.

But this is not the United States. It's Lusaka, the teeming capital of Zambia.

To many residents, the rise of processed food here is a sign of economic progress in a region that has long struggled against poverty and hunger. But First World changes have come with a First World problem: obesity.

In Zambia - as across much of Africa - people are getting fatter.

A World Health Organization survey last year found that 15.3 percent of

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