Nutrition: What do Nigerians eat?

The Federal Ministry of Health, along with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and RTI International co-convened a nutrition data stakeholders workshop last week in Abuja. Government and other stakeholders are now aligned to conduct a national food consumption and nutrition survey and address a number of other related food security, health and nutrition related data issues. David Lawal reports

 

Ms. Mary Arimond, Senior Technical Advisor, Center for Dietary Intake Assessment at the Washington, DC office of FHI 360, looked at her audience comprising of nutrition experts from various federal ministries, agencies and the academia and asked what seemed a random question.

“What did I eat yesterday, how much of each food and drink, how much milk was in my tea? How about the snacks, what was in that street food?”

It was more than a random question, but one which is usually taken for granted by many Nigerians. According to Ms. Arimond, lack of information on diets means that information for food and nutrition policy is lacking. “An individual dietary intake survey is important because Nigeria currently has a triple burden of malnutrition,” she said.

The scientist had more worrisome data, “Nigeria is facing malnutrition problems at both ends of the spectrum. You still struggle with undernutrition and children who are not growing well. One in three children is stunted, which means they have grown very poorly and they are affected in other ways. This is something that comes at great cost not only to the child and their family but also to your country.

Ms. Mary Arimond, Senior Technical Advisor, Center for Dietary Intake Assessment

“At the other end of the spectrum, one in three adults is overweight or obese in Nigeria, which brings with it the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. These are already growing in Nigeria and if it follows the pathway of many countries, these problems will grow rapidly and become a great cost to your health system and to your country,” she added.

A grim statistic

Just about a week before the conference on Nutrition Data organized by the Federal Ministry of Health in conjunction with the BMGF,  a major partner in nutrition, the Minister of Health, Professor. Isaac Adewole had given a startling and worrisome outlook of Nigeria’s position on nutrition.

At the high level consultative meeting with states on accelerating nutrition results in states (ARIN), the minister shared one of his worries and presented plans to address it. The nutrition problem in Nigeria he said has improved in the last 10 years, but the current indices “remains one of the worst in the world.”

The Federal Ministry of Health, along with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and RTI International co-convened a nutrition data stakeholders workshop last week in Abuja. Government and other stakeholders are now aligned to conduct a national food consumption and nutrition survey and address a number of other related food security, health and nutrition related data issues. David Lawal reports

 

Ms. Mary Arimond, Senior Technical Advisor, Center for Dietary Intake Assessment at the Washington, DC office of FHI 360, looked at her audience comprising of nutrition experts from various federal ministries, agencies and the academia and asked what seemed a random question.

“What did I eat yesterday, how much of each food and drink, how much milk was in my tea? How about the snacks, what was in that street food?”

It was more than a random question, but one which is usually taken for granted by many Nigerians. According to Ms. Arimond, lack of information on diets means that information for food and nutrition policy is lacking. “An individual dietary intake survey is important because Nigeria currently has a triple burden of malnutrition,” she said.

The scientist had more worrisome data, “Nigeria is facing malnutrition problems at both ends of the spectrum. You still struggle with undernutrition and children who are not growing well. One in three children is stunted, which means they have grown very poorly and they are affected in other ways. This is something that comes at great cost not only to the child and their family but also to your country.

Ms. Mary Arimond, Senior Technical Advisor, Center for Dietary Intake Assessment

“At the other end of the spectrum, one in three adults is overweight or obese in Nigeria, which brings with it the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. These are already growing in Nigeria and if it follows the pathway of many countries, these problems will grow rapidly and become a great cost to your health system and to your country,” she added.

A grim statistic

Just about a week before the conference on Nutrition Data organized by the Federal Ministry of Health in conjunction with the BMGF,  a major partner in nutrition, the Minister of Health, Professor. Isaac Adewole had given a startling and worrisome outlook of Nigeria’s position on nutrition.

At the high level consultative meeting with states on accelerating nutrition results in states (ARIN), the minister shared one of his worries and presented plans to address it. The nutrition problem in Nigeria he said has improved in the last 10 years, but the current indices “remains one of the worst in the world.”

[Source”timesofindia”]