The Nutrition Society of Nigeria, (NSN) has called out the Federal Government of Nigeria’s attention to the high rising cases of hunger and malnutrition in the country. The society states that these problems are caused by lack of adequate food intake and is calling on the Government to do something about it. The society also called on the Government to combat the high rising issue of insecurity in the country, which is a contributing factor of food insecurity.
According to reports by Vanguard, Dr. Wasiu Afolabi, the president of the society spoke on this. He spoke during the opening ceremony of the 51st Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Society. It was a 5-day event held in Enugu with the theme “Promoting healthy diets through food systems transformation.” Dr. Wasiu stated that there was a global increase in hunger and malnutrition. He stated that the conference would address the issue.
Dr. Afolabi explained that there were many cases of disease and malnutrition in Nigeria. He mentioned that the conference was carried out annually to offer the nutritionists in the country a chance to interact with each other and share their research experiences.
“Globally, it was found out that the level of hunger and malnutrition is increasing, arising from so many drivers. We also have a situation in Nigeria where we have the double burden of disease and malnutrition.” He stated. He also added that while there was a large number of malnourished people in Nigeria, there was also a large number of over nourished people in the country.
He listed some of the characteristics of malnutrition. They included stunting, overweight, and wasting among children under 5. Other issues listed were iron deficiency and ammonia.He explained that an adequate food system and a balanced diet was the key to experiencing healthy living in Nigeria.
“We also have a high rate of non-communicable diseases like diabetes and obesity among the adults. So, we have a mixed grill 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.” He said.
Afolabi mentioned that the North had a greater number of malnourished people due to its high rate of insecurity. The insecurity had an adverse effect on food production which caused the malnourishment. He called on the country to tackle the issue of insecurity so that the North could produce adequate food.
He further cited the use of inorganic fertilizer to grow crops as another factor of malnutrition. He explained that inorganic fertilizers could affect people’s health over time. He cautioned farmers and advised them to use organic fertilizers in food production.