Home Health Non-communicable diseases may gulp more of Nigerians’ budgets, Nutritionist warns

Non-communicable diseases may gulp more of Nigerians’ budgets, Nutritionist warns


Lagos – Nigerians might be spending more than three per cent of their healthcare budgets on the management of non-communicable diseases in the next 10 years if they do not embark on adequate nutrition and decent lifestyles.

Dr Chika Ndiokwelu, a consultant nutritionist and dietician on said this on Wednesday that at a one-day workshop on: “Adequate Nutrition and Lifestyle : Essential for Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases(NCDs).

Ndiokwelu speaking at the event organised by Coca-Cola Ccompany said that adequate nutrition and positive lifestyles were essential to reduce the risk factors of NDCs.

She described NCDs as a medical condition which were chronic in nature, non contagious and could lead to deformity or death.

She said that these diseases represented a major threat to health and development in the 21st century.

“NDCs account for 60 per cent of all deaths globally and 43 per cent of disease burden.

“There are four major NDCs – cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes mellitus.
“They are the world’s biggest killers as they account for 36 million deaths annually.

“In Nigeria situation, estimation shows that more than three per cent of healthcare cost will form the management of non-communicable diseases in the next 10 years,” she said.

Ndiokwelu said that changes in lifestyle, smoking of tobacco ,harmful use of alcohol ,physical inactivity, changing diet and inadequate nutrition were risk factors of NCDs.

”NCDs are preventable especially with adequate nutrition which is the most fundamental and impacting way of tackling NCDs.

”’We need to check our life styles in terms of what you eat. Eat more of fruits, legumes and vegetables, engage in regular physical exercise, reduce salt intake and stop the use of tobacco, ” she said.

Ndiokwelu advised the Federal Government to develop a national policy and action plan on food and nutrition, including the control of diet related to non-communicable diseases.

She also urged manufacturers and producers of food products to provide accurate nutrition information on their products to help consumers make informed choices.

In his remarks,Mr Clem Ugorji, the Director of Public Affairs and Communication of Coca-Cola Company said that the company had been striving to provide clear nutritional values,offer low calorie or non-caloric beverages to the public.

Ugorji said the work workshop was organised to educate the public on issues of nutrition as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR).

“The recipe of coca-cola has remained unchanged for 129years, with more than 3,600 products in several countries and over 500 brands.

”This was achievable due to our acceptance by the public. We shall continue to support and provide the public with health information because a healthy nation is a wealthy nation.

”The only way to reach the public is through the media which is why we are organising this workshop for them to relate and know our level of acceptance in the public.

”The media also have a role to play by ensuring that they publish accurate and factual information so as not to misinform the public, ” he said.
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The News Agency of Nigeria ((NAN) reports that not less than 40 health journalists in Lagos attended the workshop with a tour of the company’s plant facility in Ikeja.(NAN)

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