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Nigerians’ healthy diet jumped from N703 to N1,035 in Tinubu’s first year: NBS – Peoples Gazette

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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reports that the ‘National Average Cost of a Healthy Diet’ (CoHD) per adult per day was N1,035 in April.

The NBS revealed this in its CoHD report for April 2024, released on Wednesday in Abuja.

The bureau said the CoHD in April increased by 5.4 per cent compared to the N982 recorded in March.

It also mentioned that the CoHD was the least expensive combination of locally available items that met globally consistent food-based dietary guidelines.

The report said it was used to measure physical and economic access to healthy diets, stating this “is a lower bound (or floor) of the cost per adult per day, excluding the cost of transportation and meal preparation.”

The bureau said to compute the CoHD indicator, the following data on Retail Food Prices, Food Composition Data, and Healthy Diet Standard were required.

The NBS also mentioned that in April, the average CoHD was highest in the South-West at N1,406 per adult per day, followed by the South-East at N1,190 per day.

It said the lowest average CoHD was recorded in the North-West at N781 per adult per day.

The NBS further said that at the state level, Ekiti, Ogun and Osun recorded the highest CoHD at N1,483, N1,447, and N1,417, respectively.

The bureau said Kogi and Katsina recorded the lowest CoHD at N709, followed by Kaduna and Nasarawa at N756 and N769, respectively. The NBS said CoHD had steadily increased since the first CoHD report by the bureau in October 2023.

It explained that the CoHD in April 2024 “is 40 per cent higher than what was recorded in October 2023 at N703” and five per cent higher than the CoHD in March 2024, which was N982.

The report added, “The food groups that have driven the increases in CoHD the most are vegetables, starchy staples, legumes, nuts and seeds. The cost of meeting the recommendations for oil and fats has changed the least since March 2024.”

The NBS added that animal-source foods were the most expensive food group recommendation to meet in April, accounting for 36 per cent of the total CoHD to provide 13 per cent of the total calories.

It noted that fruits and vegetables were the most expensive food groups in terms of price per calorie.

“They accounted for 11 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively, of the total CoHD while providing only seven per cent and five per cent of total calories in the Healthy Diet Basket. Legumes, nuts and seeds were the least-expensive food group on average, at six per cent of the total cost,’’ stated the report.

The report also pointed out that CoHD rose faster than general and food inflation in recent months.

“However, 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,” it stated.

The NBS said the policy implications of these results would foster collaboration among a wide range of stakeholders, such as policymakers, researchers, and civil society actors focused on food security.

“These stakeholders will devise strategies that tackle access, availability, and affordability of healthy diet effectively. Also future research incorporating income can also be used to determine the proportion and number of the population that are unable to afford a healthy diet,” the report said.

(NAN)

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