05 March 2021 by Florence Adewale
A coalition of non-governmental organisations and medical experts, have called for policies that will discourage the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages to prevent chronic illnesses.
The NGOs made the submission in a joint statement to commemorate the 2021 World Obesity Day.
It states that consumption of
sugar-sweetened beverages commonly known as soft drinks, is strongly associated with obesity in Nigeria.
According to the statement Nigeria ranks the 4th highest soft drink consuming country globally, with over 40 million litres sold yearly. These soft drinks contain damaging sugar levels and put their consumers, mostly poor people at risk of contracting cancer, diabetes and other non communicable diseases.
“Obesity is a risk factor for several non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, stroke, and various cancer forms. Recent studies reveal that obesity increases the mortality risk of COVID-19 by nearly 50%, making it a significant mortality risk factor.”
The statement therefore calls on parents to desist from giving children excessive soft drinks and snacks putting them at risk of childhood obesity adding that about 4 million Nigerians are suffering from diabetes linked to excess sugar consumption.