Centre for Food and Adequate Living Rights (CEFROHT) with support from International Development Law Organization (IDLO), is implementing a project to promote healthy diets through legal empowerment and social accountability mechanisms, using human rights-based, participatory, and multi-sectoral approach. The goal of the project is to contribute to an enabling environment supportive of regulatory and fiscal measures that promote healthy diets by working across sectors and engaging communities.
The foregoing is based on the fact that overweight and the associated diet-related NCDs are contributing to 4 million deaths globally, which is mainly due to unhealthy lifestyle choices such as feeding on an unhealthy diet high in fats, sugar & salt, play a big role. According to World Health Organization (NCD Uganda country Profile 2018), NCDs in Uganda is estimated to account for 33% of all deaths.
The food industry which is the most producer of unhealthy diets highly targets Children who they influence primarily through three markets: the primary market, as consumers in their own right; the parental market, as children play a major role in influencing what their parents buy, referred to as ‘pester power’ or kid-fluence; and the future market, as children are likely to stick to the consumption habits they acquired as children when they grow older.
Although this is the case, there is minimal awareness among the government, non-state actors, and the general public of how diet is causing premature deaths. The food and drink industry enjoys commercial liberty with very minimal restrictions, and as a result, food companies’ advertisements promote foods high in fats, sugar, and salt, consumption of which should be limited as part of a healthy diet. (WHO 2006).
It is against this background that CEFROHT organized and trained over 25 media personnel on aspects of regulatory and fiscal measures on healthy diets, using a human rights-based approach and social accountability mechanism.
This training involved legal empowerment on the right to health and the right to food to advance legal strategies to promote healthy diets and physical activity. A communication consultant was hired to train media to put forward the need for regulation of the food industry through food policies, fiscal measures,s and laws to promote healthy diets and prevent NCDs due to unhealthy and poor diets.
The aim of the training was to contribute to an enabling environment supportive of regulatory and fiscal measures that promote healthy diets by working across sectors and engaging communities
From the training there has been;
- Strengthened multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder partnerships between government, CSOs, academia, and communities to advocate for reforms that promote healthy diets through social accountability.
- Increased levels of awareness of CSOs, media practitioners, academics, and the community on legal and policy options and strategies to promote healthy diets through legal empowerment.