'Over 50% of SA at risk of hunger'

A study has revealed that more than 50% of South Africans are not getting enough food on a daily basis.

A study has revealed that more than 50% of South Africans are not getting enough food on a daily basis. Picture: Carmel Loggenberg/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (Gain) says malnutrition and the poor quality of food is driving the contraction of deadly diseases among the country's population.

Today marks World Food Day and a recent report by human rights group Oxfam has revealed more than half of South Africans are either on the brink of hunger or are already not eating enough food daily.

In its report "Hidden Hunger in South Africa", Oxfam reveals that while there is nearly enough food being produced in South Africa for everyone, an inadequate pricing structure has left many people without access to it.

The report quotes data that states 26 percent of South African's population "regularly experiences hunger", while 28.3 percent more people "are at risk of hunger".

Gain Chairman Jay Naidoo says a multi-pronged approach is needed to improve the situation.

Naidoo says there are now more than a billion people who are overweight because they are eating junk food.

"It's cheap, it's tastes good, it fills your stomach, it's easily accessible, but filled with sugar and salt and that is leading to an explosion of diseases like hypertension, diabetes, bone diseases and cancer."

_To read Oxfam's report, Hidden Hunger in South Africa, click _ here.

Note: This article's headline has been edited and has been updated with additional information for clarity.