Obesity and type 2 diabetes in Sub-Sahara Africa

Curr Diab Rep. 2014 Jul;14(7):501. doi: 10.1007/s11892-014-0501-5.


There is a mounting body of evidence regarding the challenge posed by diabetes and obesity on the health systems of many Sub-Sahara African countries. This trend has been linked to the changing demographic profile together with rapid urbanization and changing lifestyles in both rural and urban settings in Africa. Africa is expected to witness the greatest increase in the number of people with diabetes from 19.8 million in 2013 to 41.4 million in 2035 if current trends persist. Excess weight alone currently accounts for at least 2.8 million deaths globally each year through increased risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular complications. This review highlights recent literature on the problem of obesity and type 2 diabetes in Sub-Sahara Africa. It exposes the need for concrete interventions based on the now available wealth of evidence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Africa South of the Sahara / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Quality of Life