A public health expert, Francis Fagbule, has warned Nigerian youths to desist from excessive consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) saying it can lead to non- communicable diseases (NCDs).
Fagbule gave the warning following the latest report by Statista that 37.5 percent of Nigerians between the ages of 18 to 24 years consume SSBs.
The expert, who spoke with LEADERSHIP, at the regional stakeholders forum on SSB tax, organised by the Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), in Lagos, revealed that studies have shown that the excessive consumption of SSBs can lead to diabetes, hypertension, obesity and cancer.
“The World Health Organisation (WHO) and scientists have shown that excess consumption of SSBs is associated with increased risk of overweight, type 2 diabetes mellitus, stroke, dental caries, metabolic syndrome and cancer. In addition to the health impact, the consumption of SSBs result in economic costs derived from healthcare expenditure, low productivity, permanent disability and premature deaths,” he added.
Sadly, the health expert revealed that Nigeria is the highest consumer of SSBs in Africa, with its youth leading with 37.5 per cent in the country.
“The implication of this is that more youth, who are the future of Nigeria, will likely come down with NCDs,” he added.
To curb the excessive consumption of SSBs, the executive director, CAPPA, Akinbode Oluwafemi, revealed that in 2021, the federal government, through the Finance Act, 2021, introduced a N10/litre excise tax on carbonated drinks and sugar sweetened non-alcoholic beverages produced, imported, distributed and sold in Nigeria.