Consumer Rights Day: Group drums support for healthy diets

NIGERIANS were not left out as they joined rest of the world recently to observe the day and create awareness to ensure that consumer rights are never ignored and to canvass for consumer’s rights with emphasis on a particular area annually that affects consumers worldwide.

In line with this, World Consumer Right Projects, Lagos organized the World Consumer Rights Day with the theme: ‘‘Thunderous Support for Healthy Diets.”

Speaking at the event, the Executive Secretary/Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the organisation, Onu Eke Uche, a lawyer in his address said there is need globally to protect and promote healthy diets for consumers, pointing the world is facing a major health crisis.

He stated that a recent Consumer International (CI) release reveals that poor diets contribute to more than 11 million deaths annually and is now number one global risk factor for death. Citing the report, Onu said that premature illness and disability from diet related disease impoverish families, reduces productivity and threatens to bankrupt health systems.

According to him, the global economic impact from obesity alone is roughly 2.8 per cent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), roughly equivalent to the global impact from smoking. As a result, diet related diseases like cardiovascular diseases; cancer and diabetes are on the increase particularly in the developing countries which figures state that more than eight million people die before their sixtieth birthdays in 2013 alone in these countries.

Uche disclosed that as a result of this ugly development, concerned world agencies like the United Nations (UN), World Health Organisation (WHO) and CI, came up with a consensus on the need for a global transformation in the way people eat, suggesting therefore that “onsumers don’t just need the right to food; they need the right to healthy foods”.

This recommendation toward a global convention to protect and promote healthy diets, according to him has been developed to encourage policy makers to build on the work of the UN to combat obesity and non-communicable diseases (CDs).

Uche said: ‘‘The objective of the convention is also to protect current and future generations from avoidable diet-related ill-health by providing a health promoting food environment through a framework of diet and protection and promotion measures.

The Stress Management Expert, Dr. Jacob Nwachukwu in his own address said that ‘‘If you are not informed, you will be destroyed, if you are not updated, you will be outdated. Controlling blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, waist and hip ratio, typically with the help of medications, as well as regular eye and foot checks and lab tests, are key components to managing diabetes. Stop smoking, increasing physical activity, eating a healthy diet, and finding a good physician and team that will work with you to manage all of these issues is extremely important.”

Continuing, he said: “People should be encouraged to eat a high-fiber diet rich in natural whole foods, unrefined and unprocessed fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and peas while restricting or eliminating foods containing refined carbohydrates.

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