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WFD: Experts tasks NAFDAC on trans fat guidelines, regulations

…says trans fat increasing cardiovascular diseases

As Nigeria commemorates this year’s World Food Day (WFD), experts have appealed to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), to hasten the ongoing processes to enact the guidelines and regulations needed to control and eliminate trans fat consumption in the country. Speaking to journalists yesterday in Abuja, the Executive Director of CAPPA, Mr. Akinbode Oluwafemi, raised concerns over the increasing rate of Nigerians diagnosed with cardiovascular and other chronic diseases, due to the consumption of trans fat predominantly found in imported vegetable oils, junk and processed foods. Represented by the Director Programmes CAPPA, Mr. Philip Jakpor, he urged Nigeria to borrow a leaf from other countries and pay critical attention to what Nigerians eat adding that, the public health of a nation was dependant on fat for the citizens to consume.

He said: “Nigeria with a huge and vulnerable population must not take the back seat in the global war against trans fat. Nigeria must set the pace on regulation of this silent killer on the African continent.

“The Governing Council of NAFDAC should speedily approve the guidelines and regulations on the use of fats and oil, as well as prepackaged foods, water and ice labelling which has strong provisions on trans fat. “Compelling the oils and fats and the fast food industry to comply with global best practice in relation to trans fat in the processing of their products.”

Laying emphasis on this year’s theme: ‘Grow, Nourish, Sustain, Together,’ Technical Adviser Transfat-Free Nigeria Campaign, Dr. Jerome Mafeni, stressed the importance of making healthy food and sustainable habits a life style. Mafemi said the World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in 2002, identified dietary and life style changes as major reasons behind the growing epidemic of chronic diseases affecting and killing millions both in developed and developing.

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