The Coalition of Actors for Public Health Advocacy (CAPHA) and its partners in a proactive move towards fostering healthier dietary habits and environments, held a one-day training workshop for journalists as part the Healthier Diets for Healthy Lives (HD4HL) Project.
The partners include the Ghana NCD Alliance, Ghana Public Health Association, Ghana Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,(GAND) Institute of Leadership and Development,(ISLA) Green Africa Youth Organization,(GAYO) and Songtaba.
The HD4HL project is dedicated to building evidence and mobilizing multi-stakeholder action towards a comprehensive set of policies. These policies include food marketing regulation, food labeling, food-related fiscal policies, and public food procurement and service policies. The overarching goal is to cultivate healthier food environments within Ghana.
The aim of the workshop was to provide insight into the HD4HL project and its mission for healthier food environments, discuss and elaborate on the proposed policies – food marketing regulation policies which seek to prevent or prevent the the marketing (promotion, advertising foods) that are considered to be unhealthy.
The food labeling policies which is being championed by the Ghana NCD Alliance also seek to help consumers make informed choices about the healthiness of their foods.
The food-related fiscal policies on the other hand are policies that will impose taxes on foods and beverages that are considered unhealthy or subsidies on foods that are healthy.
The Institute of Leadership and Development, INSLA’s public food procurement and service policies are also ones that set a criteria for the service and sale of food in public settings and or government expenditure on food (including purchases and subsidies) to promote healthy food.
Percival D. Agordoh, RD, Vice president of the Ghana Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (GAND), promoters of the Food Marketing Regulation Policies, noted that the HD4HL project has become necessary in order to ensure that food must be produced and marketed in such a way that all consumer needs are met.
He stressed on the for the regulation of advertisement and marketing of food products targeting children.
“Food marketing targeted at children should that the health need of the kid, overall nutrition needs of the kid and also the wellbeing of the kid is also considered” he noted.
The group says it recognizes the pivotal role the media plays in influencing public opinion in which the HD4HL project identified the need to involve selected journalists in the one-day media workshop. This strategic advocacy approach sought to garner media support and cultivate awareness about the proposed policies, emphasizing their impact on public health.
Also, CAPHA aimed to equip journalists with comprehensive insights during the one-day workshop. By doing so, CAPHA anticipated that journalists would play an integral role in disseminating information, building public understanding, and garnering support for these crucial policies.