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April 14, 2024
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Obesity: Coalition advocates Tax increase on sweetened drinks

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By Aderogba George

The National Action on Sugar Reduction (NASR), a coalition, is advocating for an increase in taxes on Sugar Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) to alleviate the burden of obesity.

Omei Bongos-Ikwue, a representative of NASR, made this call during a rally in Abuja to commemorate the 2024 World Obesity Day, celebrated annually on March 4.

He highlighted that global statistics indicate one in eight people worldwide grapples with obesity.

He said alarming figures revealed that 30 per cent of Nigerians are overweight, with 15 per cent classified as obese.

Bongos-Ikwue emphasised the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recognition of the global scale of the obesity crisis, affecting more than 1 billion people worldwide.

He attributed the disease primarily to excessive calorie intake, posing a significant threat to health.

According to Bongos-Ikwue, SSBs, identified as the primary source of added sugar in diets, have been scientifically linked to abdominal obesity.

“SSBs are identified as a key driver of cardiometabolic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

“This rally featured an extensive awareness campaign, engaging choreography by volunteers, games, and informative factsheets aimed at enlightening the public.

“We urge the government to implement higher taxes on sugary drinks.

“The goal of this pro-health tax is to protect more Nigerians from the risks of obesity; alleviate the burden on the healthcare system, and promote a healthier society,” Bongos-Ikwue said. (NAN) www.nannews.ng

Edited by AbdulFatai Beki and Chijioke Okoronkwo

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