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Nigerians’ healthy diet has increased from N703 to N1,035 in Tinubu’s first year: NBS

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 made this known in its April 2024 CoHD report, which was released on Wednesday in Abuja.

The agency said CoHD rose 5.4 percent in April compared to N982 recorded in March.

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

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

The agency said that to calculate the CoHD indicator, the following data on retail food prices, food composition data and healthy diet standards were needed.

The NBS also reported that the average CoHD in April 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 agency 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 increased steadily since the agency’s first CoHD report in October 2023.

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

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

The NBS added that animal-based foods were the most expensive food group recommendation met in April, as they account for 36 percent of total CoHD and provide 13 percent of total calories.

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

“They accounted for 11 percent and 16 percent of total CoHD, respectively, while accounting for only seven percent and five percent of total calories in the Healthy Diet Basket. Legumes, nuts and seeds were the least expensive food group on average, at six percent of total costs,” the report said.

The report also pointed out that CoHD rose faster than headline 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,” the report said.

The NBS said the policy implications of these results would promote 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 effectively address the access, availability and affordability of healthy food. Future research on income can also be used to determine the proportion and number of the population that cannot afford a healthy diet,” the report said.

(NAN)

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