A national Food-Based Dietary Guidelines (FBDG) has been developed to educate Ghanaians on the country’s dietary system.
Similarly, it is to address malnutrition, diet-related diseases as well as contribute to the control of increasing non-communicable diseases and its adverse outcomes among persons living in Ghana
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) with support from the University of Ghana School of Public Health, UNICEF, World Food Programme, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations developed the guideline.
Speaking at the launch, the Deputy Minister of MoFA responsible for Crops, Yaw Frimpong Addo, said the guidelines developed for the population was the first of its kind in the country.
“For the first time ever, Ghana has developed a truly FBDG for the population in Ghana at age five years and above. In the past, government had developed guidelines for young child feeding, as well as tools used by programme managers and extension officers supervising government programmes.
“These earlier documents were highly technical and are defined to be used by the general population. Thus, the current guidelines fill an important gap by enabling the general population to take responsibility for making informed choices about their own diets,” he stated.
He said the documents were timely, given the rapidly rising prevalence of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and several other diet-related non-communicable diseases.
He said MoFA remained committed to facilitating sustainable agricultural production to meet food and nutrition requirements at all time.
Prof. Richmond Aryeetey of the University of Ghana, School of Public Health, emphasised the need to implement the food safety guidelines to enable the citizenry to stay healthy as Ghana was already undergoing a nutrition transition, especially in urban areas.
Nutrition, he said, was a critical component of the immune response as scientific evidence has demonstrated that consumption of foods high in simple sugars, salt and certain types of fats increased risk to diet-related chronic diseases.
BY BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY