The Institute of Leadership and Development (INSLA) has called on government to make a commitment to develop and implement a comprehensive National Policy on Food Procurement and Services at the upcoming Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit in Japan.
It said this would help reduce and prevent the incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) resulting from the consumption of unhealthy diets in Ghana.
The Government of Japan is hosting the N4G Summit in December 2021 on the theme: “Everyone, everywhere needs Good Nutrition to live a healthy productive life.”
The N4G is a global effort to bring together governments, donors and philanthropies, businesses, non-governmental organisations and beyond to accelerate progress on malnutrition.
The Summit would focus on mobilizing new policy and financial commitments to help reverse the impacts of Covid-19 and position nutrition as an essential development issue.
The call was in a statement issued by Mr Sulleiman Yahaya, the Communications Advisor of INSLA, a non-profit civil society organization and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Tuesday.
It said the series of pledges at N4G has the potential to transform the way the world tackles the global challenge of malnutrition.
The statement said: “Unhealthy diets are responsible for millions of deaths worldwide. It is a leading risk factor for death and disability, diets which include excess salt, sugars and bad fats kill around eight million people yearly.”
According to the World Health Organizations (WHO), diets related non-communicable diseases account for 42 per cent of total deaths and 31 per cent of disease burden in Ghana, adding that NCDs kill an estimated 86,200 persons in Ghana with 55.5 per cent of them aged less than 70 years. Diet related NCDs are projected to increase due to unhealthy eating lifestyle.
The statement said the core principles of healthy policies includes; limiting the intake of sugars, shift fat consumption away from saturated fats to unsaturated fats, elimination of industrially produced trans fats, limiting of sodium consumption and ensure that salt is iodized, increase consumption of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and pulses and ensure the availability of free, safe drinking water.
“The practice of food industry being allowed to produce and sell any food products at any place should be over. That practice has endangered the lives of consumers, and therefore the government must hold the food industry accountable and be regulated,” it stated.