The Ghana Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance (GhNCDA) has advised the general public as a matter of urgency to avoid the consumption of unhealthy products during the festive season in order to avert an increase in healthcare costs after the celebrations.
According to GhNCDA during the yuletide, the industry takes advantage of the vulnerability of the public by investing more in diverse promotional media and resources that have impacts on public purchasing habits.
These unhealthy commodity industries, led by Big Alcohol, Big Food, and Big Soda, leverage the yuletide for commercial gains, without any concern for the public’s health.
Meanwhile, these products contribute to and remain major risk factors for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
“The foods we consume if not checked increase our disease burden including cardiovascular diseases, some types of cancer, hypertension, and diabetes and others.”
This information was contained in a press release issued by GhNCDA and copied to CapitalNewsOnline.
According to the statement, foods, diet, and nutritional status, including overweight and obesity, are associated with elevated blood pressure and blood cholesterol, and resistance to the action of insulin.
These conditions are not only risk factors for NCDs but major causes of illness themselves (World Cancer Research Fund International).
“We wish to remind the public of the popular saying that “we are what we eat” and encourage them to make healthy choices in the festive season and not be swayed away by the deception of the industry.”
Is it not an irony that sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), tobacco, alcohol, and junk food companies whose products increase the risk of NCDs, and kill 41 million people annually, equivalent to 71% of all deaths globally have positioned themselves as champions and partners in humanitarian services to protect population health.” the statement revealed.
To the young adolescent and youth, this is the moment when you will be exposed to unhealthy activities including tobacco (shisha), electronic cigarettes, and alcoholic drinks.
You are encouraged to refrain from the temptations of these products, which are glamorized during the festivities.
Don’t be deceived by the appealing flavors, shisha is tobacco in disguise and even more harmful to your health as a session or an hour of shisha smoke is approximately 100 to 200 sticks of cigarettes. Take your health into your own hands- before you take a puff, remember you only live once,” GhNCDA advised.
The Ghana NCD Alliance also seized the opportunity to appeal to the public to make healthier options a routine this Christmas by making exercise a priority.
“ Avoiding foods high in fat, sugar, and salt, say no to tobacco and alcohol- opt for fresh fruits, and drink a lot of water to keep hydrated. “Also please be cautious of the products you buy in the open market to avoid poisoning and other health consequences.”
The Ghana NCD Alliance commended the Food and Drugs Authority and Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority for their efforts in ensuring the safety of the citizenry.
However, the statement further urged them to intensify surveillance at the various borders, unapproved routes, and markets to impound unregistered, unwholesome, and expired products to protect the public.
Below is the full statement
Source: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/mydailynewsonline.com