Four-year-old Klenam is all dressed up for school on a Monday morning. She refuses to board her school bus because unlike the usual, she has no snacks. It takes the intervention of her class teacher, Miss Senam who gets her a bottle of Fanta, some biscuits, and toffees to get the little girl to join her colleagues on the bus.Although this gets Klenam to go to school, harm is being done to her unknowingly.
A can of Fanta, which is 330ml contains 41 grams of Sugar. 5 grams of sugar is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of sugar. This means that little Klenam is consuming about 8 teaspoons of sugar contained in the Fanta alone. This would mean that Klenam consumes 240 teaspoons of sugar if she takes a 330ml Fanta a day for 30 days.
It is worth noting that biscuits and others accompanying sugar-sweetened beverages are also mainly sugar-sweetened.
Klenam is just one of the many children in urban Ghana “snacking” their way into diabetes and other non-communicable diseases through lifestyle.
According to Unicef, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), including diabetes cause a substantial proportion of deaths among adolescents. In 2019, approximately 20 percent of the deaths among those aged 10-19 were caused by NCDs.