Some stakeholders in Abuja on Thursday called for increased and stronger advocacy for implementation of taxes on sugar sweetened beverages.
Mrs Vivianne Ihekweazu, the Managing Director, Nigeria Health Watch (NHW), said that taxes generated from sugar sweetened beverages would be channeled to improving the health sector.
Ihekweazu made the appeal at the meeting of stakeholders on the theme: Building a strong Advocacy campaign for sugar taxes in Nigeria.
She said that the conversation would not only heighten the health benefits but raise awareness on the dangers of sugar sweetened beverages.
According to her, sugar sweetened beverages are one of the factors that fuel non-communicable diseases as diabetes.
Mrs Moji Makanjuola, the Executive Director, International Society of Media in Public Health, described the meeting as a wake up call to end the damages being done by sugar sweetened beverages.
Makanjuola however called on media practitioners to begin to amplify the advocacy in creating awareness on the need to support the sugar sweetened beverages tax.
She described the media as a critical partner in the advocacy for people to realise that “you are what you eat and the need to eat right”.
“We must create awareness on our various platforms, we must try to be a voice of reason, we do not have replacement to human life.
“The fall out of sugar consumption are huge and therefore sugar must be made to pay for the trauma it has caused,” she said.
Ms Elizabeth Orlan, the Associate Director, Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI), said that liquid sugar was harmful to body.
Orlan said that the proposed Sugar Sweetened Beverages tax had effect on low income families and therefore taxing it was one of the most effective policy options to reduce the damages.
“Fifty one per cent reduction in sugar is a 52 per cent reduction in calories.”
Ms Omei Bongos-Ikwue, Health Communications Specialist, National Action on Sugar Reduction (NASR), called for intensive advocacy for implementation of the enacted sugar sweetened beverages tax law.
Bongos-Ikwue however charged journalists to champion the advocacy for implementation of the tax. (NAN)