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‘Sugar-sweetened beverages increase risk of Type 2 diabetes’

BY: Mohammed Fugu, TAMALE
Some of the participants displaying their placards

A COALITION of public health organisations has advised the public to avoid consuming too many sugar-sweetened beverages as they increase the risk of contracting Type 2 diabetes and other diseases in humans.

The coalition, Advocating for Health (A4H) is made up of the University of Ghana, Ghana Public Health Association (GPHA), Ghana Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance (GhNCDA) and Ghana Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (GAND). It observed that such beverages contained little or no nutrients except calories, which could cause several health complications, including Type 2 diabetes.

A member of the coalition, Prof. Paul Armah Aryee, who gave the advice said it was necessary for members of the public to reduce the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages to help boost their immune systems against diseases.

Float
He said this when the A4H organised a float on the principal streets of Tamale to sensitise the people to the effects of the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.

The float which was on the theme: ‘Sugar-sweetened beverages are harmful to your health’ sought to create awareness of the negative effects of sugar-sweetened beverages on the health of Ghanaians.

The group carried placards with inscriptions such as “sugar-sweetened beverages can cause obesity, sugar-sweetened beverages can cause kidney failures”.

The float formed part of a sensitisation project initiated by the coalition with funding support from the Global Health Action Incubator.

Health complications
Prof. Aryee said the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages such as energy drinks, soft drinks and sports drinks could lead to obesity, insulin resistance leading to increased heart rate and hypertension, stroke and kidney failure among other non-communicable diseases.

He, therefore, urged the public to drastically reduce the intake of such beverages and rather drink more water daily to help improve their well-being.

For his part, a Project Lead at the GHPA, James McKeown Amoah, noted that the A4H Project was aimed at engaging relevant stakeholders to join forces to ensure behavioural and lifestyle changes among the people towards achieving good health.

“This float is one of the activities under the project which we are trying to use to educate the people to know the negative effects that come with taking sugar-sweetened beverages so they can desist from such acts,” he indicated.

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