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NBS launches data on cost of healthy diet

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Wednesday, announced the launch of a new indicator, the “Cost of a Healthy Diet.” This indicator was produced…

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Wednesday, announced the launch of a new indicator, the “Cost of a Healthy Diet.”

This indicator was produced in collaboration with partners such as the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Federal Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

Daily Trust reports that the Cost of a Healthy Diet (CoHD) is the least expensive combination of locally available items that meet globally consistent food-based dietary guidelines, used as a measure of physical and economic access to healthy diets.

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

The data for this indicator is derived from the comprehensive food price data, a key component used in calculating the inflation rate.

This indicator will provide invaluable insights into the current state of nutrition and affordability across the nation.

The NBS at the launch said the South East and South West ranked highest in the Cost of a Healthy Diet (CoHD) according to its indicators for October, November and December 2023.

Statistician-General of the Federation/CEO of the National Bureau of Statistics, Prince Adeyemi Adeniran, disclosed this in Abuja at a joint press briefing by the NBS and the GAIN on the publication of the Cost of a Healthy Diet in Nigeria.

He said for October and November 2023, the South East ranked highest having the average CoHD of N918 and N920 per adult per day respectively while the North East ranked lowest with an average of N605 in October and N616 in November of same year.

However, the South West ranked highest in December 2023 with ₦979 per adult per day and lowest in the North-West at ₦663 per adult per day.

He said the national average of the Cost of a Healthy Diet for the months of October, November and December 2023 stood at N703, N742 and N786 respectively.

“At state level, Ekiti, Osun and Ondo states recorded the highest CoHD, with ₦1,052, ₦1,017 and ₦986 respectively, in December 2023, while Katsina, Niger and Adamawa recorded the total lowest CoHD at ₦594, ₦635 and ₦654 respectively”, he said.

He said tracking and monitoring the cost of a healthy diet offers valuable insights for policymakers, researchers, and organisations to discern patterns, assess disparities, and implement targeted interventions that address the root causes of food insecurity.

“This comprehensive approach contributes to the global fight against hunger and malnutrition by promoting the affordability and availability of nutritious foods”, he said.

Also speaking, Country Director of GAIN, Dr Michael Ojo, said data on food prices for nutrition is critical because it lays the groundwork for targeted interventions that will have tangible impacts on the lives of Nigerians.

He said the target of GAIN is to transform the food system to make healthier diets from sustainable food systems for all people especially those who are most vulnerable to shock.

Ojo said the target of GAIN is to improve the access of 1.7 billion people globally to healthier diets and to support positive food system transformation across the countries.

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