It is said that; the youths are the future. However, if the present trends of diet-related non communicable diseases like obesity among youths fueled by unhealthy foods continue, the future would be unhealthy.
While 45 percent of deaths in children are from nutrition-related causes, mainly malnutrition, diet-related non communicable diseases like obesity is a fast-growing problem across the world causing low- and middle-income countries to face a double burden of malnutrition.
Globally, non-communicable diseases kill the most people every year. Based on 2016 data, out of 56.9 million deaths, 40.5 million were due to non-communicable diseases (30.5 million were in developing countries). Diabetes, one of the complications of obesity led to 1.6 million deaths.Obesity is ubiquitous – every country is dealing with this pandemic in one form or another. Rates of obesity among females aged 5-19 years is 59%, 42% 36%, 8% in U.S., South Africa, Brazil and India respectively.
Research in Ghana shows that children from poorer backgrounds are more vulnerable to food insecurity and narrow dietary diversity. In contrast, consumption of processed foods rich in sugar but poor in nutrients is common among all socioeconomic classes. Showing that obesity does not respect boundaries. In Scotland, about 30% of adults and 13% of children are obese – this is attributable to foods and drinks high in fat, sugar and salt.
Data shows that most important time for using nutrition to improve cognition and physical development of a child is the first 1000 days of life (from when the woman becomes pregnant, through-out pregnancy, birth and until the baby is 2 years old).
In addition to the woman eating nutritious meals, there are several nutritional interventions to achieving these, including – exclusive breastfeeding within one hour after birth until the baby is 6 months old; introduction of nutritious complementary meals at 6 months and continuing of breastfeeding until the baby is 2 years old.
all nations should ban artificial trans-fat production and use. Globally, consumption of trans fat accounts for more than 500,0000 deaths due to heart disease every year, according to the World Health Organization.
The harmful effects of trans fat is by raising bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol levels. Therefore, increasing risk of heart disease, stroke and insulin-dependent diabetes. Already there are lessons from countries that have policies on artificial trans fats.
Reduce daily consumption of salt to less than one teaspoonful a day because the sodium contained in salt increases blood pressure.
Hypertension in turn, is implicated in 7.5 million deaths every year. According to the U.S. Centres for Disease control, more than 70% of the sodium Americans consume comes from processed and restaurant foods. There are several ways to reduce salt consumption such as public education, front-of-package labelling, promotion of salt substitutes, industry reformulation of packaged foods, and intervention for restaurants.
The United Kingdom salt reduction program led to lower slat content in processed foods, resulting in a 15% reduction in population salt intake.
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