Southwest tops charts with highest healthy diet costs, soaring to N1,145 per meal- NBS – Nairametrics

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The 2024 report from the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics reveals that the highest cost of a healthy diet is found in the Southwest of Nigeria, reaching N1,145 per meal in the priciest state. 

The National average Cost of a Healthy Diet (CoHD) reached N858 in January 2024. Southwest leads with the highest average CoHD at N1,045 per adult per day, while Northwest records the lowest at N683. 

The report reveals cost of a Healthy diet (CoHD) has outpaced general inflation and food inflation in recent months, emphasising the critical link between economic access and nutritional well-being. 

Understanding the Cost of a Healthy Diet 

CoHD serves as a vital metric for physical and economic access to healthy diets, reflecting the minimum cost per adult per day.  

  • The Cost of a Healthy Diet (CoHD) metric analyses the availability, pricing, and nutritional composition of retail food items.  
  • Its primary goal is to pinpoint the most cost-effective combination of items that fulfil the criteria for a healthy diet. 
  • Food environments play a crucial role in determining households’ access to nutritious food for an active and healthy life. 
  • The Healthy Diet Basket (HDB) sets global criteria, capturing similarities across national food-based dietary guidelines. 

Key Findings 

In January 2023, the National average CoHD stood at N858. Osun, Ekiti, and Ondo recorded the highest costs, while Katsina and Niger had the lowest. Southwest topped with N1,090, followed by Southeast with N986. Northwest recorded the lowest at N629.  

Animal Source foods are the most expensive, comprising 38% of the CoHD. Fruits and vegetables, though essential, contribute disproportionately to costs. 

CoHD has risen faster than general inflation and food inflation recently, reflecting challenges in maintaining affordable healthy diets. 

Insights into Regional Disparities 2024 

In January 2024, Katsina (Urban) boasted the lowest Cost of a Healthy Diet at N573 per adult per day, contrasting with Ondo (Rural), which held the highest cost at N1,145.  

Despite some similarities in the least-cost items, such as Avocado Pear & Soya Beans, the overall cost per food varied due to underlying price differences between these locations.  

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