Top 10 states with the highest costs of healthy diet in Nigeria as of March 2024 – Nairametrics

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The cost of a Healthy Diet (CoHD), defined as the most economical combination of locally available items adhering to global dietary guidelines, serves as a crucial measure of physical and economic access to healthy diets. 

In February 2024, the national average CoHD stood at N938 per adult per day. However, regional disparities were evident, with the Southwest recording the highest average CoHD at N1,157 per day, while the Northwest boasted the lowest at N723 per day. 

The CoHD’s trajectory has outpaced both general inflation and food inflation in recent months. Notably, the CoHD increased by 9% between January and February 2024, while the food Consumer Price Index (CPI) saw a 4% uptick during the same period. 

It’s essential to understand that while the CoHD and the food CPI both provide insights into food affordability, they are not directly comparable. The CoHD, measured in Naira per day, encompasses fewer items than the weighted food CPI. 

Cost of Healthy Diet methodology  

Food environments play a pivotal role in determining households’ access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food for a healthy lifestyle.  

Recognising this, a suite of indicators known as the Cost and Affordability of a Healthy Diet (CoAHD) has been developed and is now globally monitored by institutions like the United Nations and the World Bank. 

  • To calculate the CoHD, various data points are considered, including retail food prices, food composition data, and the Healthy Diet Standard.  
  • The retail food price data, sourced from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), involves over 200 retail food items collected monthly from urban and rural outlets across Nigeria. 
  • In Nigeria, the CoHD is based on the Healthy Diet Basket (HDB), aligning with international recommendations.  
  • This standard serves as a benchmark for calculating and comparing the cost and affordability of healthy diets across countries, especially in regions lacking quantified national food-based dietary guidelines. 

At the state level, Ekiti, Lagos, and Osun States reported the highest CoHD, while Katsina recorded the lowest. Similarly, at the zonal level, the Southwest and Southeast Zones registered higher CoHD averages compared to the Northwest Zone. 

Nairametrics has compiled a ranking of the top 10 states with the most expensive costs of healthy diets.  

10. Federal Capital Territory 

Average CoHD: N1040 per day 

In the Federal Capital Territory, residents pay an average CoHD of N1040 per person per day. It is the only Northern state on the list of most expensive states. 

9. Ebonyi

Average CoHD: N1067 per day 

With an additional N27, Ebonyi stands in ninth place where its residents maintain a healthy diet with N1067 per day.  

8. Oyo

Average CoHD: N1080 per day 

Residents of Oyo state spend an average of N1080 per day on meals with nutritional value.  

7. Ogun

Average CoHD: N1086 per day 

Ogun state follows with a slightly higher CoHD, with an average cost of N1086 per day for a healthy diet. 

6. Ondo 

Average CoHD: N1104 per day 

In Ondo state, each resident pays an average cost of a healthy diet of N1104 per day making it sixth state with the most expensive healthy diet.  

5. Imo 

Average CoHD: N1114 per day 

Residents in IMO state spend an average of N1114 per day to maintain healthy eating.  

4. Abia

Average CoHD: N1181 per day 

Abia state ranks the top southeastern state with the most expensive costs of a healthy diet. Residents spend N1181 per day.  

3. Osun

Average CoHD: N1184 per day 

With an additional N3, Osun ranks as the third most expensive state. In Osun state, each person spends an average of N1184 per day to maintain a healthy diet. 

2. Lagos

Average CoHD: N1195 per day 

In Lagos state, residents pay an average cost of a healthy diet of N1195 per day.  

1. Ekiti 

Average CoHD: N1295 per day 

Ekiti ranks as the most expensive southwestern state and overall most expensive state to maintain a healthy diet. Residents in Ekiti state spend an average of N1295 per day to maintain a healthy diet.  

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