Hunger and malnutrition-related problems have been identified as proxies for extreme poverty. Poverty and hunger currently affect >400 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa, the poorest region in the world. South Africa, being the most unequal society in Africa, is no exception to the crisis of food poverty and health implications among sub-population groups. Research shows that individuals or households that experience food insecurity have staple diets that are energy-dense, thereby compromising their health lifestyle. This qualitative study reviewed the evidence of the potential impact of poverty on compromised-dietary intake and healthy lifestyle using 53 publications among them scientific studies, policy documents, government documents and electronic sources. Contextual analysis was used to arrive at discussions, conclusions and recommendations. Major findings reveal that the historically disadvantaged including undocumented immigrants are highly vulnerable to compromised dietary intake and non-communicable diseases due to persistent inequality in the country. As the global extreme poverty is expected to rise in 2020/2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic which is negatively affecting the global health and economic system, vulnerable groups with little to no social protection such as financial social grants from the state in middle income countries like South Africa, will be more affected. The findings conclude by providing valuable information for state actors and non-state actors to protect the most vulnerable to acute food insecurity and chronic poverty.
Part of the book: Lifestyle and Epidemiology