Obesity is on the rise among urban African women of reproductive age in all of the 24 countries studied.
Being able to buy processed "food-like" products is often seen as a mark of personal and material success. Little attention is paid to having a healthy diet.
So-called lifestyle diseases such as cancer and heart disease have been rising in Africa, adding to the already huge burden of disease in poor countries. But the research has not kept pace.
Marketers take advantage of the fact that children sometimes can't recognise the difference between product placement and advertising.
If South African consumers were educated on how to read and understand the information on food labels, they may be more willing and capable of making healthier food choices.
Genomic research must take place in Africa because African populations have evolved significantly and their genetic composition is more diverse than that of populations elsewhere.