Cost of healthy diet highest in South-west in December 2023 – NBS – Premium Times

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The average Cost of a Healthy Diet (CoHD) was highest in the South-west zone at N979 per day in December 2023, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said.

The statistics office in its report titled “Cost of a Healthy Diet December 2023” published on Wednesday, said the National average CoHD was N786 per adult per day in December 2023.

The bureau explained that the CoHD is the least expensive combination of locally available items that meet globally consistent food-based dietary guidelines, used as a measure of physical and economic access to healthy diets.

This, it said, is a lower bound (or floor) of the cost per adult per day excluding the cost of transportation and meal preparation.

“The National average Cost of a Healthy Diet was N786 per adult per day in December 2023. At the State level, Ekiti, Osun and Ondo states recorded the highest cost with N1052, N1017, and N986, respectively, while the lowest total diet costs were recorded in Katsina, Niger and Adamawa at N594, N635, and N654, respectively.

“Lastly, at the zonal level, the average CoHD was highest in the South-west zone at N979 per day, followed by the South-east zone at N920 per day. The lowest average Cost of a Healthy diet was recorded in the North-west zone with N663 per day,” NBS said.

Cost share by food group

According to the bureau, animal-source foods were the most expensive food group recommendation to meet in December, accounting for 38 per cent of the total CoHD to provide 13 per cent of the total calories.

It said fruits and vegetables were the most expensive food groups in terms of price per calorie, as they accounted for 12 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively, of total CoHD while providing only 7 per cent and 5 per cent of total calories in the healthy diet basket.

The NBS added that the least-expensive food group on average was Legumes, Nuts, and Seeds, at 6 per cent of the total cost.

In recent months, the statistics office said the CoHD has risen faster than general inflation and food inflation.

However, it noted that the CoHD and the food consumer price index, (CPI) are not directly comparable; the CoHD includes fewer items and is measured in naira per day, while the food CPI is a weighted index.

The report said the retail food price data used in the analysis is collected by the NBS monthly from 10,534 informants spread across the country, from urban and rural outlets for each state.

“NBS collects these prices routinely for monitoring inflation, including prices of over 200 retail food items. It is from this data that nearly 150 of these food items are potentially included in a healthy diet and used for the computation,” the report said.

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NBS speaks

Commenting on the report in a statement on Wednesday, the Statistician-General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NBS, Adeyemi Adeniran, said “The NBS today, announced the launch of a new indicator, the ‘Cost of a Healthy Diet’.

This indicator was produced in collaboration with esteemed partners such as the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), the Federal Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.”

Mr Adeniran said the data for this indicator is derived from the comprehensive food price data, a key component used in calculating the inflation rate.

“This indicator will provide invaluable insights into the current state of nutrition and affordability across the nation.

“The results from this indicator can support an integral part of the Nigerian government’s commitment to improving the health and quality of life for its citizens by informing agricultural, economic, and health policies.

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“This data also holds immense significance for policymakers and stakeholders involved in health and nutrition. The findings will be instrumental in crafting evidence-based policies aimed at improving the nutritional well-being of the population and contribute to progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 2,” he said.

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