Kodjo Adams/ Abdulai Haruna, GNA
Accra, Feb 28, GNA - Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa, a Cellular Pathologist and Lifestyle Wellness Consultant, has urged all Ghanaians to adopt healthy lifestyles and eating habits to enjoy wellness and longevity.
"Some Ghanaians have totally absorbed negative Western lifestyles and are now struggling with Western diseases, which our health service cannot not control," he said.
Prof. Akosa said this at the 10th National Development Forum, in Accra, under the theme: “Establishing Preventive Focus for Health; Lifestyle for National Development”.
The forum was organised by the National Development Planning Commission.
He advised Ghanaians against poor sanitation practices, the consumption of alcohol and energy-dense drinks, which posed health risks.
Dr Akosa said most beverages, such as soft drinks, fruit juices, cereals and energy drinks, contained more than the recommended sugar content of 22.5grams per cent of energy, which adversely affected the health of consumers.
Ghana, he explained, was undergoing three transitions- demographic, epidemiological and nutrition transition.
Demographic transition focuses on changes in the population from the youthful stage - largely from rural with high fertility to that of ageing, urbanised and low fertility rate.
Epidemiological transition is where a pattern of high child mortality and infectious epidemics shifts to one with high prevalence of chronic degenerative diseases.
The nutrition transition involves the rapid change from traditional diets to foreign highly processed diets.
Prof Akosa emphasised that Ghanaian foods were healthier than the foreign ones, advising that the recommended diets were the balanced ones, which included fermented, unpolished and high fibre carbohydrates.
An individual should eat at least five portions of these a day.
Citizens should also cultivate the habit of regular exercises, at least for 30 minutes a day, to keep them in good health.
“The benefits of increased physical activity include improved mental function, improved sleep and body repair mechanisms and sexual function,” he noted.
“Regular physical activity reduces the risk of coronary heart diseases, stroke, among others”.
Prof Matilda Steiner-Aseidu, a lecturer at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Ghana, for her part, said, the poor dietary habit of Ghanaians was one of the major causes of some diseases in the society.
The Government should, therefore, resource health institutions and others to educate the public about the negative effects of eating certain foods above the recommended level.
Prof Reginald Ocansey of the Department of Physical Education and Sports, University of Ghana, said physical exercises should still be part of the School Curricular to help keep students healthy.
He urged Medical Schools to introduce Physical Activity courses in their academic content.