On Friday last week, Ghana joined the rest of African Union nations in celebrating the sixth AU healthy lifestyle week.
In an effort to draw attention for the need of healthy lifestyles in promoting good health, the AU nations have set aside one week every year.
Sherry Ayitey, Minister of Health, said on a statement at the floor of the parliament that the event was intended to call on the public to make healthy food choices in order to live a longer life.
She noted that through consumption of healthy and nutritious food, it can go a long way in controlling and averting some chronic ailments as well as premature deaths in the country.
Sherry announced that this year’s celebrations would be under the theme: “Our Double Disease Burden, a Threat to National Security”.
The Executive Council of African Union came up with the celebrations in July 2008 and will be celebrated by Member States on the last Friday of February on each calendar. She pointed out that there would be various weeklong discussions and activities in the media on what is required of people to do in order to acquire healthy lifestyle during the week and afterwards.
She said that on the first day, more focus will be given to exercise while the second and third days will be dedicated to eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables while reducing the intake of sugar and salt respectively.
She said that the fourth day was a no-smoking day for tobacco users and called on operators of restaurants, hotels and other public places to display no-smoking signs around their buildings.
She also gave out a helpline number for people who want to quit smoking to make calls; which is 0302-684232.
She said that on the fifth day, alcohol consumption is prohibited, adding that the sixth day should be dedicated to the use of local oils like Coconut oil, Kernel oil, Shea butter oil and Palm oil.
She insisted that all Ghanaian citizens should aim at exercising for at least 30 minutes per day throughout the entire week and stay off from processed fruit juices, soft drinks and the use of bouillon in cooking. She added that people should refrain from tobacco and alcohol use and instead add fresh fruits and vegetables in all their meals.