Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has underscored the urgent need for stronger actions in order to make healthy diets accessible and affordable to all and sundry.
Since unhealthy diet has been identified as the leading risk factor of death across the globe for Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and certain cancers.
More so, FAO’s flagship report The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World has illustrated an uptick of the number of people suffering from hunger and malnutrition with about 257 million people, or one in five, living in Africa.
This has been thwarting Africa’s effort in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2: Zero Hunger.
The Assistant ant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Abebe Hiaile- Gabriel, made this known in a press release, to commemorate this year’s World Food Day in Ghana.
“Dietary habits have moved from seasonal, mainly plant-based and fibre –rich dishes to diets are high in refined starches, sugar, fats salt, processed foods, meat and other animal –source products a result of globalization, urbanization, and income growth.
Such a changing trend has led to the rise of different forms of malnutrition, including obesity, running parallel to the challenges of hunger in the region,” he disclosed.
However, Abebe Hiaile- Gabbriel urged all stakeholders to take action for “governments to support investments in nutritious and healthy diets by putting in place the right policies and mechanism in place; smallholder farmers to diversify production through adopting sustainable agricultural practices.
This he said, private businesses need to invest in foods that are more nutritious and also adhere to nutrition-related laws and regulations. Most of all, we need people to be health-conscious and make informed choices on what to consume.
According to Jocelyn Brown –Hall, FAO Deputy Regional Representative and acting FAO Representative to Ghana, this year they have put extra efforts in engaging children and youth to channel through the voices of the future generation, who bears the systemic burdens of Zero Hunger, yet holds the key to solve and achieve Zero Hunger
“FAO is ready and available to provide countries with evidence on the multiple facets of malnutrition and to work with them to develop policy responses, and providing technical support for improving nutrition and promoting healthy and sustainable diets to a wide target audience,” he stated.
To spike up inspirations into actions, this year FAO harnessed colorful and dynamic ways to spread the World Food Day spirit among key stakeholders especially youth, the future forces for change towards Zero Hunger in Africa.
At the Independence Arch, School children demonstrated the cycle of life, from Seed to salad, each children representing an element in the cycle.
This year’s celebration includes celebrities such as Kwame Eugene, DJS Switch, and Chief Addo to actively engage the audience and demonstrate healthy eating of nutritious indigenous foods.
Through this colorful live illustration, the event aims to emphasize the importance of healthy, balanced nutrition in diets through the voices of children.
FAO shared the World Food Day spirit at the Independence Arch, a symbolic landmark that represents freedom, highlighting the interconnectedness of people.
Source: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/newsghana.com.gh