According to the FAO today, the world would need $ 2 trillion to address the health issue of obesity. "But if we act on food systems, we can save some of this money that can be used on everything needed for road, energy and so on develop", analyses Djiwa Oyentounde, FAO-Togo Program Officer.
That's why this year, for the World Food Day (WFD), celebrated every October 16th, FAO calls for action across sectors to make healthy and sustainable diets affordable and accessible to anyone.
"The quality of food, the way we cook, we mix food to get ratios is very important if we want to achieve zero hunger because zero hunger is not just about producing in quantity. The quality of food is also concerned", insists Djiwa.
Globally, it is estimated that more than 800 million people are undernourished and in Togo this figure is around 1.3 million.
"When you look at these figures, you'll realize that the issue of obesity is increasing. For example in Togo, it is estimated that there are 200,000 adults who suffer from obesity and the main cause of obesity is our food system, the way we eat", laments Djiwa.
So it seems obvious that it is not just about focusing on production, but about how people combine products to eat.
"By acting on quality to produce healthy foods by reducing all ingredients such as pesticides, improving the way we harvest, preserve and keep healthy agricultural products is important. Without this balance in the feeding system, it is a problem and there are more and more diseases due to poor nutrition", he says.
In addition, FAO believes that unhealthy diet associated with a sedentary lifestyle as people don't do sport activities, are the number one risk factors for disability or death in the world.
"A lot of people are not dying because of malaria, but because people don't eat very well and don't do sports anymore, so diseases such as diabetes, stress and others start to grow. So, we must act quickly", insists Mr. Djiwa.
How to eat well?
While welcoming the efforts made by the Togolese government, the program manager calls for the establishment of awareness programs on how to eat well.
"We need some legislation to make people understand that we don't need too much fat, sugar or salt. So, we have to educate them, especially restorers. With this political commitment associated to campaigns in the media, we can improve our food system", advocates Djiwa Oyetounde.
In Togo, the celebration of the WFD will be celebrated offline, normally in December. An extensive operation is underway to mobilize 800 million CFA to install 1,000 young agricultural entrepreneurs.