Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa, CAPPA, has trained journalists on trans fats reporting, with the aim of raising awareness of media practitioners and the public at large, on issues and dangers of trans fatty acids, TFAs.
Speaking on the importance of the training for journalists, as measures to sensitize the public on the dangers of trans fat, Dr. Jerome O. Mafeni, TFA Technical Advisor, Network for Health Equity and Development, NHED, revealed that there are numerous health problems associated with the consumption of trans fats.
Giving a presentation on ‘Trans fats as a Cardio vascular disease risk factor’, Dr. Mafeni noted that the consumption of TFAs, which are unsaturated fatty acids that come from either natural or industrial sources, can increase the risk of suffering from heart problems, type 2 diabetes among others.
He however noted that, “it is possible to eliminate artificial trans-fats from the world and replacements are much healthier and save lives.”
On his part, Dr. Kingsley Akinroye, Executive Director, Nigerian Heart Foundation while giving his presentation, stressed that non-communicable diseases have been killing many people in Nigeria as a result of “lack of relevant laws and regulations guiding the production, utilization and marketing of food products containing trans-fat.
“Dependence of Nigeria on inadequately controlled importation of fats and oils for food, domestic and industrial purposes due to low production level in Nigeria,” he added.
Dr. Akinroye also noted that “the dearth of information on TFA contents of Nigerian foods and their level of consumption among the population” is also the reason for increase in the number of deaths caused by non-communicable diseases.
He thereafter commended CAPPA for the training which he said would help journalists to convey the information about trans fats Nigerians, adding that, this is the first time we are seeing such effort from within Nigeria as we work to combat Cardio-Vascular and Non-Communicable Diseases”