Ghana’s First Lady, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo has called for a deliberate national policy on nutrition education that includes; school curricula, public education, promotion of healthy diets, and proper labelling of food products, geared towards improving nutritional habits of Ghanaians.
She also called for the promotion of healthy school meals by re-energising the current School Feeding Programme with nutritious meals.
Mrs. Akufo-Addo was speaking at a stakeholder meeting that discussed measures towards attaining nutritional habits among the people, especially children.
She said the quest of achieving a good nutritional habit, had become necessary following the economic, social, health and political cost of malnutrition in the country.
She expressed concern that the development and wellbeing of millions of children in Ghana had been hampered by poor diets and a lack of adequate nutrition, which in some cases have led to unacceptable disease and deaths.
She however, indicated that Ghana was one of the only seven African countries that were on target to meet World Health Assembly (WHA) targets on stunting in children under five
“But you and I know there is so much work to be done, to address malnutrition in just not in children, but in the larger population”, the First Lady said.
“If we don’t act now, poor diets will continue to hamper our children’s development, the economy and wellbeing of Ghana,” She noted.
Mrs. Akufo-Addo said “Ghana like other African countries, was experiencing an emerging ‘triple burden’ of malnutrition.
“Individuals lack enough basic calories, are micronutrient deficient, or suffer from being overweight or obese with associated diet-related non-communicable diseases.”
“This is a worrying trend. So, when I call for action, I call for a paradigm shift. We need to reposition our food systems from “feeding” to “nourishing.
“It’s not just about growing more food, but about growing a greater variety of nutritious crops. It’s about educating consumers to demand healthier diets. It’s about working with the private sector to look for innovative solutions”, she noted.
While advocating strong leadership and effective coordination among stakeholders, she charged the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) to take a key role in coordinating and accelerating policies that supported healthy diets to ensure coherence with other actors in the food system.