Trans Fat & Public Health
The World Health Organisation (WHO) puts the yearly deaths from cardiovascular disease linked to trans fats consumption at about 500,000 persons annually. The death rates are set to spike, especially in low- and middle-income countries as they adopt lifestyle and consumption patterns that were hitherto synonymous with high income countries.
Nigerians, just like their counterparts in most low- and middle-income countries now consume more fast foods and foods containing high amounts of trans fat. As a result, more and more citizens are coming down with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, and colon cancer, among a host of others.
In response to this, since 2019 the team at CAPPA has worked with the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) partners at the country level to build contacts in government, the media and among the Nigerian broader civil society movement to escalate national discourse on trans fats regulation.
The CAPPA team working in collaboration with other GHAI partners has developed counter messages and arguments to the industry propaganda.
It equally mobilized civil society partners to pressure the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to conclude work on two critical legislations that incorporate sections on trans fats: “Fats & Oils Regulation, 2019’’ and the ‘’Pre-packaged Food, Water and Ice Labelling Regulation, 2019’’.
In partnership with the Network for Health Equity and Development (NHED) and other civil society actors in Nigeria, CAPPA is now leading advocacy to get the Governing Council of NAFDAC to approve the Regulations.
In July 2020 CAPPA launched audiovisual public service announcements targeted at educating Nigerians about the health risks of trans fat and safe alternatives that exist. The campaign continues to gain traction as the oils and fats industry becomes ingenious.