ISLAMABAD: On the day of ‘World Obesity Day’ on Friday, health experts and advocates in Pakistan raised loud alarms on the growing problem of obesity in the country. and called on the government to quickly implement policies to reduce the situation.
They said this during a meeting at Pakistan National Heart Association (PANAH).
Dr Abdul Basit, Secretary General of the Diabetes Association of Pakistan (DAP) said that Pakistan is facing an emergency that is affecting the health and well-being of its citizens. According to him, one important factor that causes obesity in Pakistan is the consumption of sugary drinks. Studies have shown that excessive consumption of sugary drinks is associated with increased weight gain and obesity, especially among children.
Dr Basit expressed the growing concern of international health organizations and said that Andrew Boulton (President) and Akhtar Hussain (President-Elect) from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) wrote a letter a few months ago. since in the countries of the Middle East and North. Africa (MENA) region, including Pakistan, to quickly implement policies to reduce the consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) and reduce the burden of obesity and type 2 diabetes in the national health system.
Sanaullah Ghumman, secretary general of PANAH lamented the situation and said that apart from these dangers, soft drinks are easily available everywhere in Pakistan and in many markets, often targeting children. These drinks are high in calories, low in nutritional value, and can lead to energy imbalances that cause weight gain, he said.
Munawar Hussain, consultant at the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) emphasized the importance of fiscal policy and suggested that the government should increase taxes on soft drinks to slow down the obesity epidemic. He said sugary drinks taxes are a three-win, because they are cost-effective policies that can improve people’s health, increase government revenue, and reduce health care costs. and the environment.
Business Journal Copyright, 2023