Make Healthier Choices to Avert Increase in Healthcare Cost After the Festive Season- GhNCD-Alliance Urge Ghanaians



Story by: Ishmael Barfi


As festive season draws closer where people spend quality time with families, friends, and loved ones, the general public has been advised to be cautious of the food and drinks they consume especially during the holidays.

According to Ghana Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance(GhNCDA), festive seasons are mostly when routine and behavior around food can change.

GhNCDA in a press release to wish the general public happy festive season, it bemoaned that, “the Industry around this time takes advantage of the vulnerability of the public by investing more in diverse promotional media and resources that have impacts on the public purchasing habits”.

The industry therefore bombard the general public with food, beverages and alcohol advertisements on various media channels showing “tasty, succulent foods and icy beverages that one can almost smell and feel the chills through the screens”.

However GhNCDA indicated that, these unhealthy commodity industries, led by Big Alcohol, Big Food, and Big Soda, leverage the yuletide for commercial gains, without any concern for the health of the public.

“Meanwhile, their products contribute to and remain major risk factors for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)”, the release hinted.

Adding that, “The foods we consume if not checked increases our disease burden including cardiovascular diseases, some types of cancer, hypertension, and diabetes etc.

Foods, diet, and nutritional status, including overweight and obesity, according to the release are associated with elevated blood pressure and blood cholesterol, and resistance to the action of insulin.

Hence, “these conditions are not only risk factors for NCDs but major causes of illness themselves (World Cancer Research Fund International)”.

Ghana Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance therefore through the release 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?”, it quizzed.

With regards to young people youth, GhNCDA acknowledged that this the moment they are exposed to all unhealthy activities including tobacco (shisha and electronic cigarettes and alcoholic drinks.

Therefore urged the young adolescent and youth to refrain from the temptations of these products, which are glamorized during festive seasons.

“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”, it reiterated.

Adding “Take your health into your own hands- before you take a puff, remember you only live once”.

As the general public enjoys the festive seasons, the Ghana NCD Alliance urges them to make healthier options a routine by making exercise a priority, avoiding foods high in fat, sugar, and salt, and saying no to tobacco and alcohol”.

Furthermore, should opt for fresh fruits, as well as drink a lot of water to keep hydrated not forgetting of being cautious of the products they uy in the open market to avoid poisoning and other health consequences.

The Ghana NCD Alliance also commended the Food and Drugs Authority and Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority but also called on them to intensify surveillance at the various borders, unapproved routes and the markets to impound unregistered, unwholesome and expired products to protect the public.

“Championing public health gains is a collective responsibility and we can triumph together”

The media also had its share of advise  thus, “remains a key stakeholder in this fight with an onerous obligation to highlight public calls for support for health policies to strengthen public health systems and bring relief to the people.

“We wish you a HEALTHY, Sober Free Christmas and a Happy New Year”, it concluded.

Ghana Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance (GhNCDA) provides a framework where the different actors can strategise and take collective action to reduce and prevent the NCD burden and improve the health of people in Ghana.










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