The traditional Zimbabwean diet was historically highly diverse and nutritious. However, over the past 5 or 6 generations, people in Zimbabwe have moved away from traditional foods to a heavy reliance on processed foods, particularly maize.
This shift has taken a toll on the health and nutrition of Zimbabweans on both ends of the malnutrition spectrum: 26.6% of children under 5 years of age suffer from stunting linked to poor dietary diversity while 35% of adult women and 12% percent of men are overweight or obese. In 2014, lifestyle diseases killed 138,000 people – 31% of all deaths – in Zimbabwe (WHO). In 2017, there was a decrease in households consuming an acceptable diet and an increase in households consuming a poor diet. The Zimbabwe Traditional and Organic Food Forum seeks to change this.
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