The Nutrition Society of Nigeria, NSN, has declared that Nigeria is bedeviled with the double tragedy of rising hunger and malnutrition occasioned by a lack of adequate nutritious food intake.
The society also charged the Federal Government to urgently tackle insecurity in the country in order to ensure food security.
President of the society, Dr. Wasiu Afolabi dropped the hint during the opening ceremony of the 51st annual general meeting and scientific conference of the society in Enugu themed: ‘Promoting healthy diets through food systems transformation,’ adding that globally there is an increase in hunger and malnutrition which is mainly what the conference addressed.
Afolabi said that Nigeria’s case is compounded by diseases and malnutrition where people not only suffer malnutrition but protein deficiency.
He said that the conference was a scientific one done annually to offer nutritionists all over the country the opportunity to interact, share experiences on research and programmes.
“Globally, it has been discovered that the level of hunger and malnutrition is increasing, arising from so many drivers. We have a large number of people that are malnourished and we also have a good number of people that are over nourished,” he said.
According to the NSN boss, malnutrition in Nigeria is characterized by stunting, protein deficiency, wasting and overweight among children under 5, pointing out that with adequate food systems and a balanced diet, Nigerians will experience a healthy living.
He further lamented: “We also have a high rate of non-communicable diseases like diabetes and obesity among the adults. So, we have a serious challenge of overnutrition and undernutrition in the country and these are products of inadequate food intake and so people get malnourished and you have some people that are having an excessive intake of food that are not healthy which has resulted in a high level of non-communicable diseases which is another killer”.
According to Afolabi, in Nigeria, the Northern region seems to have a greater number of malnourished people, but he quickly pointed out that it is gradually becoming a nationwide issue, as a result of insecurity that has adversely affected food production in Nigeria. Vanguard