Dr Mary Nalubega, a nutritionist based at Kampala Hospital says increasingly, people with chronic illness such as high blood pressure, sickle cell anaemia and heart diseases are being duped into abandoning some foods and promoting others without research-based evidence.
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Ugandans have been urged to take
a keen interest in the kind of food they are consuming, amid an increasing burden
of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDS).
Dr Mary Nalubega, a nutritionist
based at Kampala Hospital says increasingly, people with chronic illness such as high blood pressure, sickle cell anaemia and heart diseases are being duped
into abandoning some foods and promoting others without research-based
She said, as a result, many find
themselves depriving themselves of the nutritional value of the foods that they
abandon especially with common stereotypes associated with some meals.
In an interview with Uganda Radio
Network, another nutrition expert Dr Paul Kasenene said many people won’t pay
attention to the kind of food they eat until they fall sick, that’s why many
food advertisers are now focusing on people with chronic illnesses who are
found to be in desperate situations.
He said that the key issue people
need to understand is that the body needs 90 per cent of plant meals.
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Research shows that a plant-based
diet cuts out unhealthy items like added sugars and refined grains and is
linked to several health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart
disease, certain cancers, obesity, diabetes and cognitive decline.
Dr Kasenene says that unlike Plant-based
foods, animal source food goes bad quickly getting stuck in the colon.
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He says the bad food crisis has
hit villages too where there’s a variety of plants that people are selling
their produce so they can buy cooking oil and sugar.
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Both experts argue that the
public remains largely unguided amidst unfiltered and wrong information on
feeding habits going without check through the media. However, while it was
long proposed that the National Drug Authority (NDA) starts regulating food too,
nothing has ever been done.
According to Fredrick Ssekyana,
the spokesperson of the National Drug Authority, they are still pushing through parliament
that they are turned into a Drug and Food Authority following cabinet approval
Once changed, he says they will
now have a mandate to ensure there are food safety systems that guide people
through healthy eating.