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NHF blames increased cases of NCDs among Nigerians on dietary choices
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NHF blames increased cases of NCDs among Nigerians on dietary choices

 

The Nigeria Heart Foundation, NHF, on Thursday, decried dietary choices of Nigerians, blaming it for the increasing cases of Non-communicable Diseases, NCDs, such as heart diseases even as it urged the Federal government to be more sensitive to what Nigerians consumes as food.

 

To this end the Foundation is organising a National Summit on Food, Drinks and Cardiovascular Health in Nigeria: science, Evidence, Manufacturer and Consumer Advocacy in recognition of the rising prevalence of cardiovascular disease in Nigeria as well as the importance of prevention strategies through the promotion of healthy diets.

Addressing a press conference to announce the summit billed to hold 15th March 2022 in Lagos, the Executive Director, NHF, Dr Kingsley Akinroye who said people are what they eat, lamented that a World Health Organisation, WHO, report showed that 76.2 million Nigerians (38.1 %) are living with hypertension which poses the highest cardiovascular health burden.

 

“”ood and drink make us what we are and so our governments need to be sensitive to food, drink Nigerians consume,

 

There is no doubt people are catching heart diseases every day- hypertension, heart attacks, kidney failure, brain diseases, stroke and others.”

 

According to Akinroye, globally, statistics show that cardiovascular health problems pose a high burden on health systems, an increasing trend that can be controlled by making healthy food choices.

 

He said the summit which would create awareness on the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases in Nigeria, will look at the current data on National and global trends of the impact of food and drinks on cardiovascular health.

 

”It will also identify intervention measures which can be instituted or are in place to reduce heart relayed problems like heart attack, kidney failure among others.

 

”It will proffer solutions to curb the scourge of the adverse effect on the cardiovascular health of Nigerians.

 

He recalled that in 2016, a summit of Lipids was organised by NHF which led to the policy changes rape silly on trans fat and front pack labelling in Nigeria.

 

”It is hoped that at the end of this summit a consensus statement by all participants in the form of a communique will be made and this will be an advocate y tool to advise the government on the accept it best practice to curb the increasing health and so economic burden caused by dietary choices which led to communicable diseases of which cardiovascular disease is significant.

 

He expressed hope that the summit will impact the behavioural changes on food choices made by consumers in Nigeria.

 

”It will be a gathering of stakeholders from government, international organisations, civil society organisations from the industries, private sector, the academia, researchers, consumers and manufacturers with one overriding goal to join hands to create awareness on the importance of the impact of food choices on health, particularly cardiovascular health.”

 

Earlier, the NHF Vice Chairman Technical Committee on the Summit, Mrs Dolapo Coker said non-communicable diseases were on the increase and remained the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Nigeria.

 

Coker who is also former President of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology said the science of food was the science of survival.

 

According to her, food is the primary healthcare.  ”The choice of food we make is very important and that is why we were asked to boost our immunity with good food when COVID came.  The summit will educate Nigerians on the science of food and good food.”

 

Throwing light into the programmes at the summit, Dr Enitan Ademuson who explained that there will be an exhibition of healthy heart products at the event, added that there will break out sessions for various topics ranging from how manufacturers are playing their roles to ensure healthy products for consumers among others.

 

Also, speaking, the Director, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mr Segun Ajayi-Kadir, who was represented by the  MAN, Senior Sectoral Executive, Lekan Edunjobi who stressed the need to protect consumers at all times said they are mobilising their members to the national summit/

 

He also added that the matter of labelling was critical to MAN to safeguard what people consume.

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