Christabel Addo, GNA
Accra, June 2, GNA – Nestle Ghana has joined hands with stakeholders including the media to celebrate the benefits of milk for a healthy living on this year’s International Milk Day.
The Day is set aside globally to highlight the important role and contribution of dairy farmers and to raise awareness on the goodness of milk.
Mrs Freda Duplan, the Managing Director for Nestle Ghana, at a media workshop in Accra on Friday to mark the Day, said milk had been identified as being naturally rich in calcium and a good carrier of micronutrient fortification, making it easier, in the long-term, to deliver more nutrition to large segments of the population.
To ensure this, the company has come up with strategies aimed at enhancing the quality of life and contributing to a healthier future.
It is also helping individuals and families to live healthier and happier lives through the provision of a wide range of highly nutritious dairy products available on the market.
Mrs Duplan said Nestle also supported government’s efforts to improving nutrition through public education and making milk affordable.
She said there was, therefore, the need to empower the journalists as partners in public education on healthy diet and quality food choices.
Mrs Duplan reaffirmed Nestlé’s commitment to addressing under-nutrition globally through micronutrient fortification, saying it was the company’s ambition to help 50 million children to lead healthier lives by 2030.
Dr Niilante Amissah, a Lecturer at the Department of Family and Consumer Science, University of Ghana, who shed more light on the importance of milk for all stages, said the product was considered an essential part of a healthy diet and formed the foundation for health in many cultures.
This is because milk is a good source of high-quality protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients needed for a healthy growth, even beyond childhood.
However the inadequate intake of nutrients such as calcium leads to weakening of the bones, increasing the risk of fractures later in life, particularly in women, and stunting, while deficiencies in others such as iron, vitamin A and iodine could further lead to low birth weight, still birth, weakened immunity and anaemia.
Dr Amissah said regular consumption of dairy products, including milk, could help prevent diseases such as osteoporosis.
He said the benefits not notwithstanding, many adults still avoided milk due to concerns about their fat content or the inconvenient effects of lactose intolerance, adding, however, that there were ways to mitigate these effects and still enjoy their nutritional benefits.
“Recent research has shown that children and adults with lactose intolerance can build up tolerance over time by regularly introducing small amounts of milk, which can slowly change their intestinal bacteria and make lactose easier to digest.”
Dr Amissah recommended the intake of a glass of milk a day for all adults and even more for children for building strong bones and enhancing their cognitive development.
Ms Kita Kejuo, the Category Manager of Dairy, Nestle Ghana, said the range of milk brands had been developed to offer good nutrition, especially micronutrients needed by growing children, and were available in affordable format to the widest number of families possible.
“They are fortified with iron, vitamin A and other micronutrients to contribute to filling the gap in people’s diet.”
To make the event more practical a ‘Milk Recipe Cooking Competition’ was organised among three contesting media groups.
Mrs Christabel Addo from the Ghana News Agency, Mr Michael Abayateye, from Ghanaian Times, and Ms Lilipearl Baaba Otoo from the Business and Financial Times, emerged winners, and won a hamper each of Nestle goodies, T-shirts and rice cookers.