Health advocates protest, demand elimination of sugar in baby formula - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Friday, April 26, 2024

Health advocates protest, demand elimination of sugar in baby formula

Health advocates have taken to the streets to demand the elimination of sugar in baby formula.

This they cited concerns about childhood obesity and other health risks associated with excessive sugar consumption in infancy.

The protest led by Project PinkBlue, Diabetes Association of Nigeria, among other health advocates raised different placards such as “NAFDAC protect Nigerian babies”, “NAFDAC we suppose know wetin dey enter body”, among others, at the headquarters of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). 

They noted that in Nigeria, l one in three deaths is caused by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease and diabetes, adding that while Nigeria is starting to battle diet-related conditions like obesity, undernutrition remains a public health problem. 

They stressed that feeding children high-sugar foods can increase the risk of childhood obesity without improving the issues caused by poor nutrition.

Furthermore, they called for stricter regulations and stronger food policies that include clear nutrition labels on processed food products.

The demonstration came in response to a recent report by United Kingdom, UK, newspaper, The Guardian, which revealed a notable consumer goods company, is adding sugars into baby formula and cereals placed in African markets. 

The investigative report further alleged that one Cerelac variety sold in Nigeria contains up to 6.8g of sugar per serving, in contrast to varieties sold in Europe, where baby formulas contain 0g of sugar. 

The World Health Organisation, however, called it a “double standard.”

Speaking at the advocacy rally, a member of NASR coalition and Program Manager at Project Pink Blue, Gloria Okwu, said: “Endangering the lives of children and exposing them to life-threatening illnesses are profiteering and criminal. 

“Having different standards for producing baby formula for different populations is deceptive and discriminatory.

“The lives of children all over the world matter, and it’s our collective responsibility to protect them from diseases and situations that could negatively alter their lives now or in the future. No wonder an increasing number of children are starting to develop diabetes and cancer earlier in life.”

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