Zenator Calls For More Efforts to Combat Childhood Obesity

Member of Parliament for Korle Klottey Constituency, Hon. Zenator Agyeman Rawlings, has appealed for critical assessment of the nutritional guidelines governing the school feeding programme.

This, according to her, is to ensure school children are not just being fed but are being given food that is nutritional and in the best interest of their long term healthcare and well-being.

Hon. Zenator Rawlings made the appeal while contributing to a statement that stood in the name of member for Nabdam constituency, Hon. Dr. Mark Kurt Nawaane, on the commemoration of the 2018 World Diabetes Day.

She noted that a worrying trend is fast developing where children are showing increasing inclination in putting on weight in childhood obesity.

She argued that child obesity is a very worrying development that gives clear indication of where Ghana is going in terms of the burden on the health sector with regards to non communicable diseases.

Hon. Dr. Zenator pointed out that diabetes has become widespread in Ghana due to the radical change in eating habits.

She said, “It has become a fashionable trend to engage in nutritional habits that involve lots of fast foods and sweet drinks, especially when attending events.”

“However, these drinks are made of refined sugars that increase the threat of people developing diabetes.”

She expressed worry that given the fact that Ghana as a country still has people dying from diseases such as malaria, it is a burden that cannot be allowed to increase by dealing with diseases that can be prevented with healthy eating habits and regular exercises.

She argued that as a country with limited resources, it would be prudent to engage in very serious public education regarding proper lifestyles, how to recognize the risk factors of developing diabetes and how to prevent it.

She warned that metabolic syndrome is a syndrome that involves a cluster of conditions including blood pressure, blood sugar, increased fat around the waist and increased cholesterol levels among a few others that increase heart diseases, stroke and diabetes.

Hon. Zenator Rawlings pointed out that considering the issues of diabetes is therefore important to avoid further disabilities or further debt burden in the future.

She said, “In our current disposition it would be advisable to embark on a really intensive education programme to make sure as a nation we are not only looking out for the youth but also for the children.”

Hon. Mark Kurt Nawaane, delivering the statement on the floor of the House, noted that as the country attains the status of a lower middle income country with its associated affluent lifestyles, it is important to get coordinated and concerted actions to confront diabetes as a serious health threat.

He indicated that the Ghanaian family system has been playing a major role in the management of diabetes where family members are so special in the purchasing and taking of drugs, encouraging regular exercises and indeed providing education.

He appealed to government to realign the allocation of resources for the health sector in favour of diabetes and other non communicable diseases and improve the management of the National Health Insurance Scheme to get service providers to supply diabetic patients with the needed drugs to avert a seemingly impending diabetic epidemic.

 By Osumanu Al-Hassan/uthmanhass@gmail.com

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