A renowned cardiologist, Prof. Oladipo Akinkugbe, has called on the Federal Government to make Heart Check Food Labelling compulsory to reduce the incidence of diet-related heart diseases.

Akinkugbe made the call at the formal endorsement of Power Oil, a product of Raffles LFTZ (Dufil) in Lagos.

He said this call became necessary because many of the food products sold in the market were unhealthy.

He attributed the proliferation of unhealthy food products in the country to poor compliance with the Food Labelling policy introduced in 1988 by the Nigerian Heart Foundation.

According to him, only five out of the 300 registered food manufacturing companies in the country have adopted the heart check food labeling recommendation of the NHF.

Akinkugbe described the labeling programme as a systematic endorsement of food items certifying them as heart friendly and healthy for consumption.

He said poor compliance with the policy has encouraged sharp practices by food products manufacturers in the country.

He added that the enforcement of the policy would improve the nutritional status of Nigerians and it would keep away hypertension, stroke, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases from them.

He said,“ We are determined to reduce suffering and death from heart diseases in the population. Therefore, we are calling on government to make the Heart Check Food labelling programme compulsory.  Food products such as vegetable oil, water, beverages, fruit juices and fish should have the heart-friendly logo.

“This would guide consumer on the foods that are heart- healthy and nutritious, which is part of the global strategy to reducing heart diseases, cancer and diabetes mellitus.

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