Nigerian youths have been advised against the consumption of food containing trans fatty acids and embrace healthy eating.
The advice was given by speakers at an online event organized by Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa. CAPPA, under its #Transfatfree Nigeria campaign in commemoration of the International Youth Day 2021 with the theme; “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health”
In the commemoration event, which focused on the role of Nigeria youth in achieving a transfatfree Nigeria, youths were identified as stakeholders who can chart the way forward in eliminating trans fatty acids.
One of the panelists, Uta Bassey, Public Health nutritionist, revealed that transfats are “fats that are produced by using heat or pressure and in the process they add hydrogen molecule to vegetable oil, thereby converting them from liquid to solid form even at room temperature.
“They are toxic chemicals that are introduced into our food by the food industry to prolong the shell life of food and use it to stabilize the flavour.”
Bassey however noted that one of the challenge with the transfatfree campaign is because the awareness is low.
“With my analysis and interaction with people, I realized a lot of young people are not aware and conscious of transfat in the food. In fact if you want to take a statistics, you will discover that most young people actually consume transfat on a daily basis while some don’t even read nutritional labels”
She noted that it is imperative for people to watch what they eat as young persons could terminal diseases, adding that “transfat are the major causes of most of these cardiovascular diseases such as diabetes, cancer, liver diseases, and several others.”
Bassey, who said she has been engaging people in her individual capacity to raise their consciousness about transfat, urged youths to avoid eating junks.
On her part, Blessing Oladunjoye, Publisher, BONews Service, shared her motivation for involvement in the transfat free campaign, which she linked to an ailment she suffered from as a result of consuming transfats.
She thereafter advised youths to be conscious of what they eat in other to avoid spending their resources to seek cure for diseases.
Oladunjoye also tasked National Agency for Food and Drugs and Control, NAFDAC, to put in place the necessary regulations to ensure that quality products get to consumers.