ABUJA – Surge in fats and oil foods through the confectionary industry has raised concerns from experts who warn of fatalities arising from unhealthy consumption of junk foods, saying the 500,000 persons die annually across the globe from them.
As result, a coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on earlier in the week called on government to regulate the industry.
The Coalition comprising the World Health Organisation (WHO) Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), and the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI), made the point while addressing journalists in Abuja, in commemoration of the World Food Day marked every October 16.
The theme of this year’s World Food Day is “Our Actions are Our Future – Better Production, Better Nutrition, a Better Environment and a Better Life,’’
Akinbode Oluwafemi, Executive Director, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), in his remarks, lamented that fatalities associated to trans fat consumption in Nigeria has continued to rise.
According to Oluwafemi, the ugly trend came especially with the surge in consumption of pastries, fast foods, packaged foods, processed foods, and baked foods which is easily described as junk food, adding that there is even more likelihood that more people will be at risk of major trans-fat induced health complications.
He, therefore, challenged authorities to legislate or enact regulatory actions to eliminate industrially produced trans-fat to safeguard the citizens.
The CAPPA boss however, noted that efforts are on to end the menace, stressing that WHO in May 2018 launched a comprehensive plan “REPLACE’’ to eliminate industrially produced artificial trans-fats from global food supply by 2023.
According to new estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO), over 250, 000 persons died yearly resulting from complications associated with the consumption of foods high in trans fats.
“This statistic has led to the call for the global elimination of industrially produced trans-fat by 2023.
“The WHO in May 2018 launched a comprehensive plan “REPLACE’’ to eliminate industrially produced artificial trans-fats from global food supply by 2023. The elimination of trans-fats is key to protecting health and saving lives” he said.
Also, Dr Kazadi Walter Mulombo, the WHO Representative, disclosed that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are responsible for more than 70% of deaths globally, killing more than 41 million people each year. Unfortunately, more than 85% of these deaths occur in Low-and Middle-Income countries of which Nigeria is one.
Represented by Dr Obagha Chijoke, the WHO Representative, warned that ingestion of Industrially produced TFA have no known health benefits instead, it is associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease with more than 500,000 deaths attributed.