CS-SUNN URGES NIGERIANS TO MAKE ADEQUATE NUTRITION AND HEALTHY DIET PART OF THEIR DAILY LIVES
The World Food Day 2019 may have passed but not without leaving with us some memories, one of such is a One-Day Press Conference organized by the Civil Society – Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) in Abuja on Wednesday, October 16, 2019. The day is set aside to celebrate successes achieved on the SDG towards zero hunger in the world. This year’s theme is “Our Actions are our Future. Healthy Diets for a Zero Hunger World.”
The World Food Summit of 1996 defined food security as existing “when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life”. Commonly, the concept of food security is defined as including both physical and economic access to food that meets people’s dietary needs as well as their food preferences. Nutrition security exists when all people at all times have physical, social and economic access to food, which is consumed in sufficient quantity and quality to meet their dietary needs and food preferences, and is supported by an environment of adequate sanitation, health services and care.
A deputy director, head of nutrition and food safety department at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Oyeleke Abdulrazak said in his opening remarks that many Nigerians are ignorant of the need for a balanced meal for their households.
A presentation on Nigeria's progress towards attaining Food/Nutrition security & SDG's #ZeroHunger
— Gbemi Dennis™ (@GbemiDennis) October 16, 2019
Dr Oyeleke continued by saying the Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development is engaging in Nutritional Sensitive Agriculture to address every form of malnutrition in Nigeria. This is made possible by using food base approach to tackle malnutrition and increasing consumption of micronutrients. Nigeria’s current nationwide childhood under nutrition stands at 37% stunting, 23% are underweight, 7% wasting and 50% death of under 5 children are due to Malnutrition (NDHS 2018). He then advised that Nigerians should eat for healthy living and should be more concern about what they eat.
“Since the issue of food security and nutrition is a multi sectoral one, we have currently launched an inter-ministerial working committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Health”. Oyeleke added that this inter-ministerial working committee will serve as think-tank group, playing advisory role to current administration on the issues of malnutrition and other food related issues. He thereby encouraged Nigerians to eat healthy by embracing more locally produced foods and drinks.
In her remarks, the Executive Secretary of CS-SUNN, Beatrice Eluaka pointed out that in spite of significant interventions in defeating malnutrition, the gains have slowed down in recent years with increase in global undernourished population. Nigeria has the highest burden of stunting in Africa & the 2nd highest in the world next to India. Inadequate diet remains the leading risk factor for deaths from non-communicable diseases, including diabetes & cancer. So, without ground-breaking strategies and cost-effective interventions, Nigeria’s nutritional status might remain abysmal, adding that this would put the country at risk of not achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 2, Zero Hunger by 2030.
Eluaka also called for full implementation of the national multi-sectorial plan of action for food and nutrition in Nigeria, which was designed to curb malnutrition in Nigeria as well as improve nutrition interventions, nutrition education and help farmers diversify food production, among others. While calling for an alliance between the farmers and the Federal Government, she emphasized that such move would not only diversify food production but will also reduce post-harvest loses and adopt sustainable agricultural methods to preserve natural resources while increasing productivity and income, improve nutrition interventions, nutrition education, address issues around breastfeeding-friendly policies, help farmers diversify food production, guide public food procurement and regulations on food marketing, labeling and advertising policies among others.
Exclusive Breastfeeding gives children the best start in life.
CS-SUNN urged Nigerians to limit consumption of food that are high in salt, sugar and trans and saturated fats. Every Nigerian should make adequate nutrition and zero hunger a part of their lives by getting familiar with the country’s dietary guidelines, eating more diversified diets, understanding nutrition labels and being more physically active,’’
At the end of @CS_SUNN Press Conference in collaboration with the @FmardNg and the Nigerian Union of Journalists on the 2019 #WorldFoodDay with them "Our Actions are Our Future, Healthy Diets for all" held in Abuja. #ZeroHunger #NutritionSecurity pic.twitter.com/0fIWPb5mkN
— CS-SUNN (@CS_SUNN) October 16, 2019
Do you eat healthy?