Aware­ness crit­i­cal to im­prov­ing mal­nu­tri­tion

Daily Trust - - HEALTH - By Ruby Leo

The Nu­tri­tion So­ci­ety of Nigeria has said that the only way to im­prove the well be­ing of Nige­ri­ans is by en­sur­ing that they have im­proved nu­tri­tional knowl­edge which would en­able them make bet­ter choices in di­ets.

Speak­ing at the Nu­tri­tion Ed­u­ca­tion Pro­gramme or­gan­ised in La­gos, Pro­fes­sor Ngozi Nnam, Pres­i­dent, Nu­tri­tion So­ci­ety of Nigeria, noted that nu­tri­tion is the bedrock of de­vel­op­ment, and for an in­di­vid­ual to de­velop well that in­di­vid­ual needs to feed well”.

Ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics, the nu­tri­tional sta­tus shows a preva­lence of all forms of mal­nu­tri­tion with about 37%f our chil­dren stunted, 29 per cent un­der­weight and 18 per cent wasted.

Nige­rian re­mains one of the first 20 coun­tries with the high­est bur­den of mal­nu­tri­tion it shows.

She said: “Poverty rate is not the ma­jor cause of mal­nu­tri­tion in Nigeria be­cause, most of these people we say are “poor”, around their en­vi­ron­ments, they have fruits that could re­ally make them be in good nu­tri­tional sta­tus. The prob­lem is not poverty, the prob­lem is that they lack nu­tri­tion knowl­edge.

“I must also en­cour­age Nige­ri­ans to en­sure they con­sume foods that are for­ti­fied with es­sen­tial mi­cronu­tri­ents such as for­ti­fied mar­garine, iodized salt, for­ti­fied flours and oth­ers.”

“Nnam noted that this is why NSN has taken the lead in part­ner­ship with Unilever, through the Blue­band So­cial Mis­sion to ad­dress nu­tri­tion ed­u­ca­tion chal­lenges in Nigeria.

Dr. Abim­bola Ajayi, Di­rec­tor of Nu­tri­tion, La­gos State Min­istry of Health pointed out that if Nige­ri­ans wanted to build the na­tion, nu­tri­tion needs to be taken se­ri­ously.

Ac­cord­ing to her mal­nu­tri­tion re­sults when our di­etary in­take is in­ad­e­quate, say­ing, “This means not eat­ing foods in the right quan­tity to match our phys­i­o­log­i­cal re­quire­ments and ac­tiv­ity level, not hav­ing meals that can pro­vide our daily nutrient needs in terms of en­ergy, car­bo­hy­drates, fats, protein, vi­ta­mins and min­er­als, and wa­ter..

Ear­lier Vic­tor Ajieroh, Nu­tri­tion and Health Man­ager, Unilever Nigeria, said, nu­tri­tion is a ma­jor fo­cus area for Unilever and fits into the ob­jec­tives of the Unilever Sus­tain­able Liv­ing Plan.

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