Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) and the Network for Health Equity and Development (NHED) have warned Nigerians against the consumption of Trans fats foods considering the harmful effect on health.
The Project Adviser for Trans Fatty Acid (TFA) Elimination, NHED, Dr. Jerome Mafeni while speaking in Abuja at the weekend noted that Trans fats have been linked to increases in the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancers, dementia and death.
According to Dr. Mafeni, new estimates by the World Health Organization shows that over 250,000 persons died yearly resulting from complications associated with the consumption of foods high in trans fat, thus, a call for the global elimination of industrially produced trans-fat by 2023.
Dr. Mafeni added that elimination of industrially produced TFA from food is feasible in Nigeria as some countries are already taking actions to ending TFA foods by the year 2023.
He thereby call on all stakeholders to expedite actions and enact relevant regulations for the control and elimination of Trans-fat from the country`s food system.
The Executive Director Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), Mr. Akinbode Oluwafemi, represented by Director of Programs, (CAPPA), Mr. Philip Jakpo on his own part noted that fatalities attributable to trans fats consumption in Nigeria just a decade ago was 1,300 persons.
“With the upsurge in the consumption of fast foods, packaged foods, baked foods and all sort of processed foods, there is the likelihood that more people, especially the young upwardly mobile are at risk of major trans fats- induced health catastrophe.”
Mr. Akinbode however noted that Nigeria should join the rest of the world in fighting trans fats intake, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for the release of guidelines and regulations on the use of fats and oils, as well as pre-packaged foods, water and ice-labelling.
“It is now time to speed up the process to check the trans fats time bomb”.
He thereby call on the Governing Council of NAFDAC to increase awareness on the dangers of consuming foods high in trans fats, compel the oils and fats and the fast-food industry to comply with global best practice in relation to trans fats in the processing of their products.