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Experts opine to ban advertisement of Fast food, Junk food and Soft Drinks to prevent non-communicable disease on a daylong workshop

Consumption of fast food, junk food and soft drinks; and unplanned urbanization are increasing the number of patients suffering from fatal non-communicable diseases (NCDs). To lessen the number of death from NCDs, it is necessary to ban advertisement of fast food, junk food and soft drinks. Speakers expressed the above mentioned view on a workshop about “NCD and Tobacco Control”. The workshop was organized at Koiborto Conference Room of Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust, on 14 June 2015. Saifuddin Ahmed, coordinator of Bangladesh Anti Tobacco Alliance (BATA), chaired the workshop and Professor Dr. Habibullah Talukder Raskin and Advocate Syed Mahbubul Alam, Technical Consultant, The Union were the speakers. The program was moderated by Syeda Anonna Rahman, National Advocacy Officer, Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust.

Dr. Habibullah Talukder Raskin said, consumption culture of urban people is the reason of being affected by NCDs.  Their wish to lead a posh life is leading to death. Besides the habit of consuming fast food, junk food and soft drinks is also fatal. It is essential to establish public support against these foods. They are the reason of spreading NCDs.

Advocate Syed Mahbubul Alam said, the treatment procedure of NCDs is long term and costly. The diseases are fatal with least chances of cure. So we must focus on prevention. Fast food, junk food and soft drinks are main reasons of NCDs and the advertisement of NCDs and uncontrolled advertisement of these foods are attracting people to have them. And people are getting habituated with these unhealthy foods. The advertisement should be banned considering public health.

Saifuddin Ahmed said, we need a healthy environment for a healthy life. Government must take necessary initiatives to ban junk food. Health surcharge has been imposed upon tobacco. Now initiative is needed to impose environment or health surcharge upon bottled water and private cars considering their negative impact upon environment. NGOs can play an important role for increasing awareness among local people about environment safety and disease prevention. Workshops like this are very helpful in this regard.

The International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease- the Union (international organization working for public health development), BATA and Work for a Better Bangladesh trust jointly organized the workshop where 32 NGOs participated from Rangpur Division. Sharmin Akter Rini, Assistant Project Officer, Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust and Atiqur Rahman, Assistant Project Officer, Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust, presented papers in the daylong workshop.