Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Nutrition, dietary transitions pose serious threat to public health in Africa; relevant policies urgently needed – Prof. Laar

Amos Laar - Professor of Public Health Nutrition, University of Ghana

Professor of Public Health Nutrition at the University of Ghana School of Public Health, Amos Laar has said nutrition transition in many African countries is driving demand for ultra-processed foods and contributing to the high and increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases in the region.

Speaking at the “Conference on Food and Nutrition Security in Africa” hosted by the University of Greenwich Natural Resources Institute, United Kingdome, Prof. Laar argued that it is possible to make healthy food environment policies palatable in sub-Saharan Africa. He shared lessons from their work in Ghana.

He noted that amidst the looming threat of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) becoming the leading cause of death in Ghana by 2030, relevant authorities have been engaging various stakeholders to address the root causes of NCDs, which are largely driven by unhealthy food environments.

However, efforts to develop effective public health policies have been hindered by longstanding challenges such as data poverty and policy inertia.

To address these obstacles, the Healthier Diets for Healthy Lives (HD4HL) Project led by Prof. Laar emerged, aiming to provide the necessary evidence and advocacy to push for healthier food policies in Ghana.

The initiative is playing this role by generating context-relevant research, curating evidence, and making it accessible to policymakers, researchers, and civil society actors, the project tackled the problem of data poverty head-on. Moreover, through evidence-informed advocacy and scholar activism, they worked to overcome policy inertia and increase demand for policies promoting healthy food choices, including food-related health taxes.

Prof. Laar said efforts to address the challenges are expedient and should not be left to individual countries but the entire African continent. These effeorts he said include engagement with stakeholders, advocacy initiatives, and research projects which has led to the establishment of the Food Environments Research Network (FERN) Initiative launched in Ghana, aimed at stimulating robust food research and monitoring.

“When Kenya wins, Ghana wins. Success for one country is a success for the region. We don’t need a country focus, but a regional focus and multiple platforms that will synergise impacts,” He said.

There is a good reason why you should support the African Editors. Not everyone can afford to pay for news right now. That is why we keep our journalism open for everyone to read, including in Ghana. If this is you, please continue to read for free. But if you are able to, then there are three good reasons to support us today.

1. Our quality, journalism is a scrutinising force at a time when the rich and powerful are getting away with more and more.

2. We are independent and have no billionaire owner pulling the strings, so your money directly powers our reporting.

3. It doesn’t cost much, and takes less time than it took to read this message.

Help power the African Editors' journalism for the years to come, whether with a small sum or a larger one. If you can, please support us on a monthly basis from just 1 Ghana Cedi through mobile money number: 0599896099/ +23359989609 and you can be rest assured that you’re making a big impact every single month in support of open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

You May Also Like


Neglected tropical diseases rising in E/R- GHS Eastern Regional Health Directorate says there is disturbing increase in cases of neglected tropical Diseases in the...


At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos.


Kagame Tells Europe that Africa Doesn’t Need Adult Supervision but Fair Trade.    There is a good reason why you should support the African...


Daasebre Oti Boateng introduces Root-Based Model to Akufo-Addo, Bawumia, commends them for 2021 Census & Covid-19 fight Omanhene of New Juaben, Chancellor of All...

Copyright © 2023, Ltd was developed by Wordswar Technology & Investment, Inc. Contact us on +233246187160

%d bloggers like this: