Amos Laar, Associate Professor, University of Ghana School of Public Health

Ghana is desirous of developing a food policy bundle to assure healthier diets amidst rising diet-related non-communicable diseases.

To do this, the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Thursday, September 30 2021, convened a consultative meeting with relevant stakeholders.

The  meeting aimed to offer the stakeholders an opportunity to contribute to “the food policy package for healthier diets initiative”.

The meeting also received updates from the MEALS4NCDs Project, which is currently generating evidence and supporting public sector actions that create healthy food environments for children and adolescents in Ghana.

Delivering a speech at the meeting, Amos Laar, Associate Professor of Public Health, at University of Ghana, and Principal Investigator of the MEALS4NCDs Project, disclosed his satisfaction with the current public policy-making processes – citing the very meeting he was participating in as evidence.

He also cited other examples such as the development of the National Nutrition Policy, the Food-Based Dietary Guidelines (FBDGs), and the implementation of the United Nations Food Systems Summit Dialogues in Ghana.

According to Prof. Laar, such partnerships between government ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) and academics are expedient as Ghana needs evidence-informed policies that can create supportive environments for health. Particularly in relation to food safety.

“The fact that this virtual room is filled with policy makers, and academics, intending to brainstorm on the subject of improving our food environments, is a signal that things have changed or headed in the right direction,”

“Therefore, I would like to thank the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) for inviting academics to contribute to public policy making initiatives, such as this one,” Prof. Laar said.

“There are other examples such as the National Nutrition Policy, the Food-Based Dietary Guidelines (FBDGs), and the United Nations Food Systems Summit Dialogues processes.  Such partnership with academics is very much welcome, as Ghana needs evidence-informed policies that can create supportive environments for health – in the current context – food environment policies,” he added.

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