Nutritionist Fred Amese has mentioned that the high cost of food has a direct impact on nutrition, food choice behavior and the health of people because as the cost of food increases people will settle for less healthy meals so there will be an increase in diet related illnesses in Ghana.
Mr Amese iterated that people will resort to less expensive and less nutritious food brands or food combinations that are not healthy because they want to get satisfied by filling their abdomen and in the long run it will place a burden on the health sector because of potential increase in disease burden.
“If cost of food is what is causing poor nutrition, then it means the people will also not be able to afford health care because if you can’t afford quality food, then invariably you cannot afford appropriate health care” the nutritionist posited
He explained that there are two main sides to food accessibility. Thus; people are not able to access food because it is expensive even though the food is available or there is no availability of food even though there is money to afford.
According to the Ghana Statistical Service, inflation in Ghana driven by food as at September, 2022 stands at 37.2%. However, many Ghanaians think that the food inflation they are experiencing is more than 50%.
In an interview on 3FM Sunrise Morning Show, nutritionist Fred Amese highlighted the nutrition and health implication of the rising cost of food in Ghana.
“In our situation in Ghana, it is about cost, not unavailability of the food and because it is so expensive, people are not able to afford it. If people are not able to afford it, they will either go hungry or they will eat alternatives that are not very healthy, so increasing the cost of food has a direct negative impact on the nutrition of people.” Mr. Amese stated.
He expressed worry that indirectly or directly, the high cost of food will reduce the life expectancy of Ghana’s population and also emphasised that food challenges have a serious effect on the entire lifecycle of humanity and reproductive systems.“If young girls are not eating well, their menstruation can even ceased because that is their bodies own way of responding to the unavailability of appropriate nutrients in the system”.
“Research has shown that young adolescent girls that are not well fed have interrupted menstrual cycles and in some cases their cycle would cease altogether. Don’t be surprised if we start seeing these issues in young girls in our secondary and junior high schools because they are not well fed in schools due to high cost and insufficient food” Mr. Amese worryingly opined
By Samuel Afriyie Owusu|3news.com|Ghana