Minister of Public Health (MoPH) Ferozuddin Feroz on Monday said the over-consumption of beef and mutton and other meat can result in various diseases – including heart disease in young people.
“The increase of meat alongside other problems also causes heart attacks even for people in the age group of 30 to 40,” he said.
Kabul butchers also said they sell lots of beef and mutton daily and that the consumption of meat has increased considerably among the people.
“I sell 70 to 90kg of meat every day,” said Mohammad Salim, a butcher.
Consumers however have said meat on the table was a sign of respect to guests but it has now become common-place in Afghanistan.
“It is a type of tradition that when there is a guest, we should have meat on our table to show respect to the guest. Now I have come here to buy a sheep, to cook its meat with rice for my guest,” said Mohammad Shams, a Kabul resident who had been purchasing mutton.
A number of vegetable sellers meanwhile said although there are numerous types of vegetables available at markets, people prefer to buy meat instead of vegetables.
“Although people know that meat can cause some health problems … they usually use meat instead of using vegetables,” said Kochi, a vegetable seller.
MoPH says that eating too much meat and meals that do not include enough vitamins and minerals are the main reasons for malnutrition among children.
The ministry also said it is working on a law that will ban food from being imported if the product lacks vitamins and minerals.