By Deji Abdulwahab
Two trans-fat free groups say they have unveiled a series of Public Service Announcement (PSAs) for public health groups to address health dangers posed to human existence by trans-fat in the country.
The groups are Network for Health Equity and Development (NHED) and Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA)
The CAPPA Executive Director, Mr Akinbode Oluwafemi, said in a statement in Abuja, that PSAs would also assist in regulating trans-fat consumption in the country.
Oluwafemi described trans-fat as a food component that has been linked to more than half a million deaths per year.
According to him, research findings revealed that sustained high trans-fat in the body, leads to increased bad cholesterol, lowered good cholesterol, coronary heart disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive diseases.
Oluwafemi added that according to the latest available data, trans-fat consumption also increased the risk of heart attack and death with an estimated 540,000 fatalities globally in 2010.
“Of this number, 1,261 were recorded in Nigeria,” he said.
Also, NHED Project Technical Adviser on Trans-fat Elimination, Dr Jerome Mafeni, urged NAFDAC and other relevant stakeholders to take action against trans-fat in the country.
“Industrially produced trans-fatty acids are silent killers, which very few people know about, yet they are present in many of the foods we all love to eat.
“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has made global trans-fat elimination a priority (World Health Organisation, 13th General Programme of Work, WHO/PRP/18.1 (2019)).
“And has called on governments to enact mandatory measures to protect the public health from trans-fat consumption (World Health Organisation, REPLACE, Module 4: Legislate or regulate, WHO/NMH/NHD/19.14 (2019)).
“The WHO considers a mandatory limit of 2g of trans-fat per 100g of total fat in all fats, oils, and foods to be a best-practice measure.
“At least, 29 countries have taken steps to limit trans-fat in their food supplies, including South Africa, India, Brazil, UK, U.S, Canada, Turkey and Thailand.
“There has been a consistent call from health experts and advocates for Nigeria to follow suit,” Mafeni said. (NAN)