Experts in the health sector is calling on the government for the quick passage of the regulation towards the elimination of trans fat from foods and oils. The Executive Director, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) Akinbode Oluwafemi stated this at the commemoration of the World Food Day Press Briefing in Abuja.
He added that there is need for government to continue sensitization of citizens on the dangers of transfat consumption in the country. “There is need for gazetting of the draft trans-fat regulation and swift implementation so as to safe guard the lives of the citizens. The passage of the regulation will in great measure improve the future, as it will lead to better food production, better nutrition and ultimately a better life for all Nigerians”
According to him, the joint WHO/FAO Export Consultation on Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Disease held at Geneva in 2002 recognized that the growing epidemic of chronic disease afflicting both developed and developing countries is related to dietary and lifestyle changes.
He also urged the media to embrace the advocacy of improved nutrition and healthy diet.
“The role of the media in achieving a sustainable healthy food system cannot be over emphasized as critical stakeholders in creating awareness on the hazards associated with consumption of unhealthy food products including foods high in trans-fat content.”
“Everyone must play their roles towards improved nutrition, and the media need to embrace advocacy for improved nutrition and healthy diet by advocating for better eating habits “.
The Nigeria Coordinator for the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) Resolve to Save Lives Cardiovascular Health program, Joy Amafah said the quick passage of the fats and oils regulation will ensure that the Nigerian Government safeguards the lives of millions of its citizens from harmful fat, thereby raising a healthy population for the future.
According to her research has shown that trans fats have no health benefits.
”Trans fats can raise the risk of heart disease 3x higher than saturated fats and we all know that saturated fats are equally unhealthy. So, one can say that the trans-fat-free campaign is justified in promoting public health.”
“We work globally to support civil society organizations and local partners who advocate for public health policies that reduce deaths and diseases.”
In addition she noted that her organization is looking forward to the passage of the fats and oils regulation by the Federal Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Justice to regulate trans-fat consumption in Nigeria as a legislative instrument to drive healthy diets in Nigeria and save lives of Nigerians.
The Project Director for Transfat Acid Network for Health Equity and Development, Dr Jerome Mafeni said industrially produced transfats are bad for human consumption because they interfere with natural metabolics processes.
“When an individual consumes food that contains trasnsfatty acids they are at risk of having heart attack. The individual may be prone to obesity or any kind of inflammatory problems in the body, and can even lead to cancer.”
He added that it is very important for the world to pay attention to those food and reduce the consumption of such foods.
“We need to promote best practices and replace bad oil, promote policy and legislation, carry out assessment and increase awareness. We will ensure that regulation policy are actually enforced.”
The World Food Day is celebrated every year on October 16to raise awareness and advocate for improved action towards food production, nutrition, and a reduction in hunger around the world.
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,’’
Source: NewsDay Nigeria