Lady Julia Osei Tutu, wife of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene, has underscored the need for Ghanaians to step up efforts at adhering to good nutritional practices and physical exercises to promote healthy living.
The call comes amidst soaring incidences of non-communicable and other dangerous diseases taking a toll on the populace, as a result of over- indulgence of certain foods and the excessive intake of alcohol, salt, fat and sugar, without commensurate physical exercises.
She was addressing the maiden health forum held in Kumasi to create a platform to educate people on the enormous benefits of good nutrition and body exercises.
Christened “Lady Julia Annual Nutrition Forum”, the event which is her brainchild, attracted queens from the various communities in the region, officials of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the general public, with sponsorship from the Coca-Cola Company Ghana Limited.
The programme, to be held annually, coincides with this year’s World Nutrition Day, which falls today and targets women, due to their primary roles to choose the groceries and the cuisines for the family.
The theme is “Moderation and exercise, essential ingredients in maintaining a balanced diet”.
Lady Julia, also the Chief Executive of Serwaa Ampem Charity Foundation For Children, said her decision to join advocacy interventions on the critical issue of diet and exercises to ensure longevity is informed by her belief that a person’s well-being depends on what is ingested into the body and the amount of physical exercises one does to burn the excess calories to live long and stay healthy.
Panelists made up of Professor Agyemang Badu Akosah, a Pathologist, Social Commentator and a former Director-General of the GHS, Ms Mavis Asamoah, a Clinical Dietician, Dr Samuel Kaba, a Neurosurgeon, Ms Patience Osekere, a Psychotherapist, and Ms Billy Richardson, a Holistic Counselor, took turns to highlight the need for healthy lifestyles.
They told the people to shun eating junk foods, smoking and excessive alcohol intake, and rather eat balanced diets, exercise regularly, drink more water and take some time off to rest.
The panelists again urged Ghanaians to eat more fruits and vegetables and less of protein and carbohydrate foods.
There was however conflicting views on the eating of eggs by all age brackets, while Prof Akosa dismissed myths about the eating of eggs by adults above 40 years, saying, the egg is a complete meal for all people which can be eaten freely with moderate exercises, Ms Mavis Asamoah maintained that it was safer for adults in that age group to eat only the white part of the eggs.
The occasion was highlighted by an exhibition of Ghanaian staple foods including vegetables, fruits, legumes and some carbohydrate foods, including plantains, yams, cassava, cocoyam and whole grain (brown rice).