Inter-College Lecture Series, by Dr. Richmond Aryeetey (School of Public Health)

Thursday, March 9, 2017 - 16:30
ISSER Conference Hall


The next Inter -College Lecture will be delivered by Dr. Richmond Aryeetey (School of Public Health)

Topic: Nutrition and health claims linked to food: the case for national Food-based dietary guidelines

DateMarch 9, 2017

Time: 4:30 pm

Venue: ISSER Conference Hall

Chairman: Rev. Prof. P.F. Ayeh-Kumi, Provost, College of Health Sciences


All are cordially invited.


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Foods, diets, and nutritional status are important determinants of non-communicable diseases. On the other hand, appropriate selection, combination, and consumption of food and nutrients can contribute to non-communicable disease risk reduction. This evidence is not lost on industry as it seeks to provide diet-related remedies for preventing and controlling NCDs. The challenge arises when nutrition and health claims linked with the marketing of foods and nutrient supplements is not consistent with existing scientific evidence at three levels: 1) Insufficient characterisation of the food or its ingredients, 2) poor definition of the claimed benefit, or 3) conflicting/insufficient experimental evidence linking the food/nutrient and the claimed benefit.

In Ghana, the print and electronic media in are saturated with incessant promotion of dietary/food products making a wide variety of nutrition and claims. Such claims are known to influence purchase behaviour, and ultimately, consumption patterns. According to CODEX, producers have a responsibility to ensure that food product nutrition and health claims are consistent with national health/nutrition policy, truthful, and supported by robust and are presented in ways that do not mislead consumers. On the other hand, national governments have a responsibility empower consumers to make an informed choice regarding food purchase and consumption.

Food-based dietary guidelines serve as a behaviour change communication tool educating the lay public on responsible choice in food selection. The lack of national food-based dietary guidelines in Ghana creates opportunity for proliferation of misperceptions about food and misleading nutrition and health claims in the marketing of food products. Evidence-based research is needed to inform the process for developing a context-appropriate food-based guidelines for people living in Ghana.  


Profile of Dr. Richmond Aryeetey. PhD, MPH


Richmond Aryeetey is a public Health nutrition scientist with interest in infant and young child feeding as well as food systems and how they interact with other environmental and policy determinants of dietary intake and NCDs in urban populations. Other relevant areas of research include physical activity environments and the factors that motivates people to engage in physical activity. Richmond’s previous research activities include mapping of various food and physical activity environments including school food environments, as well as food available in health care facility settings. Richmond has worked with the University of Ghana since 2007 when he joined the School of Public Health. He is currently leading a multi-site project with Yale University that is mapping determinants of scaling up national breastfeeding program implementation. He is also a co-chair of the Evidence-Informed Decision-making in Nutrition and Health Network championing the use of evidence for Decision making in Nutrition program Scale up.


Below are some recent publications  relevant to the Lecture:


  1. Aryeetey RN, Tay M. Compliance Audit of Processed Complementary Foods in Urban Ghana.

Front Public Health. 2015 Oct 27;3:243.

  1. Aryeetey R, Oltmans S, F Owusu. Food retail assessment and family food purchase behavior in ashongman estates, Ghana. African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development. 2016. 16 (4): 11386-11403.
  2. Aryeetey RN, Boateng L, Sackey D. State of dietetics practice in Ghana. Ghana Med J. 2014 Dec;48(4):219-24.