Accra, Dec. 24, GNA – The Ghana NCD Alliance (GhNCDA), a health non-governmental organization, has urged the public to be mindful of what they consume during the Christmas season to avoid non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

It said NCDs such as cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases and mental health were associated with execessive consumption without recourse to the aftermath of the consequences.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has categorized the modifiable risk factors to include alcohol, tobacco (shisha), unhealthy diet (processed foods, excessive salt and sugar, tans-fatty foods, among others), physical inactivity and air pollution.

A statement issued by Mr Labram Musah, the National Coordinator GhNCDA and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverage industries exploit festivals and celebrations every year to normalize the use of their products, increase sales and maximize their profits.

“We are saddened by efforts of the alcohol industry to continue to prey on children and vulnerable people by exposing them to their relentless marketing during special events and this Christmas will not be an exception.

“Children will be exposed to alcohol as they attend events with parents. We hope that parents will acknowledge the effects of exposing children to alcohol in this festive and another festive season,” it said.

The statement said a recent report by the Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA) in the United Kingdom (UK) titled “No escape: How alcohol marketing preys on children and vulnerable people” found that: “The marketing of alcohol at special events made it difficult for people with an alcohol use disorder or in recovery to fully participate in everyday life.”

The GhNCDA said the state of junk foods dominating markets lately should be a concern to all Ghanaians.

“Studies show that the NCDs disease burden is on the rise, hospitals are recording more cancers, hypertension, heart diseases, kidney diseases, stroke, diabetes, mental health diseases among others and this is mostly targeted at children, the youth and the poor,” it stated

It said: “Many Ghanaians are eating more of fast foods and rejecting our locally prepared homemade food which are healthier. Can we for once have a purely local/homemade meals, fruits and vegetable occasion devoid of all the foods and drinks that increases our risk of NCDs? Eating delicious food is an important part of the holiday season for most of us.

However, what likely does not come as a surprise is that many holiday foods are not the healthiest for you.

“The Ghana NCD Alliance need everyone not just alive but also in good health as we usher ourselves into the year 2022; so to help avoid post-holiday regret, it is imperative that we are mindful of what we eat and drink.

“Christmas is just a season and it will pass but any challenge with your health could be a life-long battle to wrestle with hence the need to celebrate in moderation while thinking about tomorrow.

The Ghana NCD Alliance wished everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and prayed everyone should stay alive to serve our nation in good health.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Previous post Motorcyclists in Ketu South assure of sanity on roads during Yuletide
Next post FDA Authorizes Marketing of 22nd Century Group’s VLN® as a Modified Risk Tobacco Product