By Pemi Okunade
Dr. Yinka Egbokhare of the Department of Communications and Language Arts has said that processed food is killing people softly because its effects do not manifest immediately. They manifest in the long run.
She said this at the faculty seminar which held recently at the Small Lecture Theatre (Room 32). The topic of the seminar presentation was: “Looking but not seeing: Interrogating Consumers’ Interactions with Nutritional Labeling.” She also noted that people are taking ill because of what they eat and nutrition is coming to the fore as a major determinant of health issues.
“Some non- communicable diseases are caused by artificial flavours, additives, preservatives. We eat more chemicals than food substance and we are at risk of hypertension, cancer and obesity. Diet-related chronic diseases are causing preventable deaths. We have the chance to prevent these deaths but we do not even know what we consume”, she said.
She pointed out that most thing Nigerians look out for on food packages include price, Nafdac number and expiry date. She said they do not look out for some equally important things like the amount of calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium and the number of servings.
She also noted that the level of awareness among consumers is low; that information-seeking is higher among people who already have dietary restrictions and that women have more health-seeking behavior.
She concluded on the note that there should be more health literacy and advocacy among consumers and there should be less dependence on government agencies.