South Africa's interventions on nutrition disorders needed to be more focused, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said on Monday.
Opening a nutrition research centre in Cape Town, he said both over- and under-nutrition were found in South Africa, with the black population showing the extremes most strongly.
More than 20% of all women were overweight.
For ethnic groups, obesity was highest in black women and in white men.
Understanding the social and environmental determinants of nutrition had become even more crucial because that was where government could intervene to change behaviour in buying and eating food.
"Despite the remarkable progress in defining the prevalence of a wide spectrum of nutritional disorders in the country, our policies and interventions need to be more focused and custom designed if they are to be more successful," he said. - (Sapa, March 2010)