In order to evaluate the affordability of healthy diets across Nigeria, The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has launched a new indicator named “Cost of a Healthy Diet” (CoHD).
This was disclosed in a statement on Wednesday by Nigeria’s Statistician-General, Prince Adeyemi Adeniran.
Adeniran said this indicator was produced in collaboration with esteemed partners such as the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), the Federal Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.
According to him, the CoHD serves as a crucial metric, representing the minimum cost of locally available items required to meet globally consistent food-based dietary guidelines.
It acts, he said, as a measure of both physical and economic access to healthy diets, establishing a lower boundary for the cost per adult per day, excluding transportation and meal preparation expenses.
“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,” he said.
Adeniran noted that the available data on this indicator reveals that in October 2023, the national average Cost of a Healthy Diet was #703.
During the same period, he added, the South-East recorded the highest average CoHD at #918 per adult per day, whereas the North-East had the lowest at #605 per adult per day.
Moving on to November 2023, the National Average Cost of a Healthy Diet increased to #742, with the South-East again having the highest average CoHD at #920 per adult per day, while the North-East recorded the lowest at #616 per adult per day.
November 2023 saw a national average CoHD of ₦742, with the South-East again recording the highest at ₦920 and the North-East the lowest at ₦616, NBS said.
His words: “December 2023 reported a national average CoHD of ₦786, with the South-West registering the highest at ₦979 and the North-West the lowest at ₦663.
“The CoHD has experienced a faster rise than general inflation and food inflation in recent months.”
However, Adeniran clarified that the CoHD and the food Consumer Price Index (CPI) are not directly comparable, as the CoHD involves fewer items and is measured in Naira per day, while the food CPI is a weighted index.
He stated that; “the results from this indicator can support an integral part of the Nigerian government’s commitment to improving the health and quality of life for its citizens by informing agricultural, economic, and health policies.
“This data also holds immense significance for policymakers and stakeholders involved in health and nutrition.
The findings will be instrumental in crafting evidence-based policies aimed at improving the nutritional well-being of the population and contribute to progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 2.”