Nigerians spend N938 to get healthy diet as inflation bites – Guardian Nigeria

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•Healthy living diet index rises faster than CPI
As food inflation continues to worsen the purchasing power of the average Nigerian, it now costs Nigerians an average of N938 to have a single healthy diet.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported that on a national average, the cost of a healthy diet (CoHD) in February 2024 was N938 per adult.

This was N80 higher than the N858 in January 2024 and N152 higher than last December’s N786.

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

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

Nigeria has been experiencing a consistent rise in inflation, which peaked at 31.7 per cent in February with food inflation also rising to an all-time high of 37.92 year-on-year.

The report shows that on a zonal level, the average CoHD was highest in the South West Zone at N1,157 per adult per day in February as against N1,045 in January.

The South West was followed by the South East Zone with N1,077 per day as against N986 the previous month.

The lowest average CoHD was recorded in the North West Zone with N723, which was N40 higher than the N683 recorded in January.

At the state level, Ekiti, Lagos and Osun states recorded the highest cost with N1295, N1195, and N1184 respectively, while Katsina had the lowest costs with N673, followed by Sokoto and Zamfara with N714 and N720, respectively.

The report also shows that animal-source foods were the most expensive food group recommendation to meet in February, accounting for 38 per cent of the total CoHD to provide only 13 per cent of the total calories.

Fruits and vegetables were the most expensive food groups in terms of price per calorie. They accounted for 12 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively, 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.

According to the NBS, in recent months, the CoHD has risen faster than general inflation and food inflation. The food CPI increased by approximately four per cent between January and February 2024, while CoHD increased by nine per cent within the same period.

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