Participants and invited guests at a two-day event on healthy diets said that the risks of various non-communicable diseases, heart disease and diabetes, and deaths are increasing among people of Bangladesh due to lack of healthy eating habits.
Saying that the people do not consume enough vegetables and fruits, they emphasised on subsidies and incentives to ensure the supply of healthy food to prevent disease. “It is necessary to formulate urban agriculture policy, increase the facility of low-cost rail and other transportation systems and provide incentives for fresh-vegetable stores and marketing,” they opined.
The two-day event on healthy diets as well as consultation meeting MPs under the title ‘Fiscal and Regulatory Mechanism for Promoting Healthy Diets in Urban Bangladesh’ was held on November 25 and 26 at a hotel in Cox’s Bazar. ARK Foundation, CLPA and Dhaka International University in collaboration with IDCRC arranged the event. Barrister Shameem Haider Patwari, MP, presided over the event in its first-day session, while Deputy Speaker Advocate Shamsul Haque Tuku was present as the chief guest.
Advisor CLPA Trust Dr. AFM Sarwar delivered the welcome address while it was attended, among others, by Ahmed Firoz Kabir, MP, Fakhrul Imam, MP, Md Monowar Hossain Chowdhury, MP, Ashok Ullah Rafique, MP, Begum Khodeja Nasreen Akhter Hosne, MP, Md Nurul Islam Talukder, MP, and Mayor of Cox’s Bazar Mujibur Rahman. In his speech, Advocate Md. Shamsul Haque Tuku said that one of the main objectives of good health is food habits. It is important to take necessary steps to encourage the intake of vegetables. The transportation facilities are one of the main conditions for ensuring the supply of fresh vegetables at low prices.
It is important to give priority to the shipping system for the transportation of goods at low cost, he added.
The Deputy Speaker recommended more research on what steps can be taken to transport goods at low cost.
Barrister Shameem Haider Patwari opined that there is a need to facilitate the provision of special cards for free or low-cost transport of goods to farmers. If the diet changes, the diseases will decrease and the health expenditure of the state will decrease, he said.
The MPs said that transportation cost should be reduced along with rooftop farming and store facility. Identifying rail expansion as a positive, they emphasized on the rail in transporting fresh-vegetables.
They stressed the importance of preserving vegetables. Some of the MPs highlighted the importance of teaching about healthy food in schools. The MPs said that the media should increase the campaign about healthy food.