CSOs and the Media asked to eliminate Trans- Fatty Foods in Ghana
Story by Bugbila Moadow.
Trans-Fatty Acids are fats created during food preparation, and can also be found in snacks baked or fried foods or oils used in the cooking at home, restaurants or by street vendors.
This was made known to the CSOs and the Media during a capacity building and workshop by the Institute of Leadership and Development(INSLA) to educate and sensitise the Ghanaians on the health effects of eating foods that contain TFAs.
Mr.Benjamin Anabila, Director of the Institute of Leadership and Development(INSLA) in his address noted that raising awareness on TFAs was essential as it would do more good than harm by saving lots of lives in the country.
He said the advocacy for its elimination with the replacement of healthier oils and fats through the implementation of Ghana’s Public Health Act and the World Health Organisation(WHO) REPLACE Trans Fat Technical Package,in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders,was necessary to curb if not eliminate TFAs.
Mr.Issah Ali, Project Manager of the Institute of Leadership and Development in his presentation stated that ensuring TFAs were purged in the country were tied to achieving Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) two,three and twelve.
They included’ end hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture”; to ensure healthy lives and promote well- being for all ages” and ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
He said the purpose of the REPLACE by WHO was to serve as a roadmap for countries to implement actions to reduce and eliminate industrially produced Trans- Fatty Acids.
He entreated CSOs and the Media to as a matter of urgency put TFA elimination on the national agenda.
Madam Hikimatu Tunteiya Mohammed, Principal Nutrition Officer, Ghana Health Service said the TFA had been identified as a leading cause of cardiovascular diseases,stroke, which are major causes of deaths globally.
Cardiovascular diseases, stroke, peripheral arterial diseases have become significant in the global public health and are now regarded as the number one cause of death worldwide she stated.
She said in 2019,an estimated 17.9 million people died from cardiovascular diseases representing 32 percent of global deaths she added.
Dr.Wallace Odiko- Ollenu, Deputy Programme Manager, Non-Communicable Diseases Control Programme of Ghana Health Service, advised the general public to keep their intake of TFAs as low as possible.