Nutritionists advocate regular exercise, others for healthy living
The experts argued that Nigerians should eat diet-related foods and avoid excessive alcohol intake and smoking in order to avoid having non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Speaking at Health writer’s Seminar in Ikeja, Lagos, organised by Coca-Cola Nigeria, Chika Ndiokwelu, who spoke on the need for adequate nutrition and lifestyle, said the diets that Nigerians consume in all their cultural variety, define to a large extent people’s health, growth and development.
Risk behaviours, such as tobacco use and physical inactivity, modify the result for better or worse.
“All this takes place in a social, cultural, political and economic environment that can aggravate the health of populations unless active measures are taken to make the environment a health promoting one.
“Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) are medical conditions, which by definition are chronic in nature, none contagious and cannot be transmitted from one person to another. They reduce the quality of life of the affected individuals and can also lead to death,” Ndiokwelu said.
Continuing, she said: “Major non-communicable diseases in Nigeria, refer as cardiovascular diseases including hypertension, diabetes mellitus, chronic respiratory diseases, for instance, asthma, cancer, sickle cell disorder, mental health disorders, oral health diseases, violence and injuries, among others.
“Sedentary lifestyle accompanying economic growth shift from agricultural economies to service-based economies; increased automation of work and other aspects of life in higher income countries approximately 50 per cent deaths are attributable to insufficient physical activity.
“Improving nutrition is the most fundamental and impact way of tackling non-communicable diseases. The top six diseases that are responsible for 70 per cent of death worldwide are actually modifiable with nutritional intervention. Underweight, overweight and obesity have a direct impact on the global rise in non-communicable diseases. While under nutrition kills in early life, it can also lead to increased risk of non-communicable diseases and death in later life”
Clem Ugorgi, added that the company was playing an active role to be part of the solution by promoting their products to ensure people are free diabetes and other non-communicable diseases and provide Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to people in every community where the company operates.
Ugorgi said: “We recognise that obesity is due to multiple factors such as sedentary lifestyle, poor eating habits, genetics, metabolic rate, emotions and social situations, among others. This problem requires the involvement of all social sectors, but Coca-Cola Company has played active role.
“We help people to practice exercise in all countries where we operate provide clear nutritional information, showing clearly the calories in the front of our packages. We offer local orientation to all markets to avoid things that would lead to obesity. We communicate and merchandise our products in a responsible way, without directing our communication to kids under 12 years old.
“We are currently support 280 physical activity or nutritional education programs in 115 countries around the world. We provide clear nutritional information, showing the calories in our packages.
Our company has been the first company to commit to report the number of calories in the packaging”.
“We offer a variety of no and low calorie beverage products to our consumers in Nigeria, including water, sparkling soft drinks and juices.
“Our responsible marketing programmes establish not to communicate in programmes where the audience represents 35 percent or more of kids 12 years or less Television, radio, press, internet and mobile”.