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NBS reports N938 as cost of healthy diet in February

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in a report disclosed that National Average Cost of a Healthy Diet (CoHD) per adult a day stood at N938 in February 2024.


The bureau said the CoHD was the least expensive combination of locally available items that met globally consistent food-based dietary guidelines.

The NBS revealed in its CoHD report for February 2024, released on Friday in Abuja, that the least expensive combination of locally available items was 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 bureau said that to compute the CoHD indicator, the following data on Retail Food Prices, Food Composition Data, and Healthy Diet Standard were required.

The NBS also said that in February, the average CoHD was highest in the southwest at N1,157 per adult per day, followed by the southeast at N1,077 per day.

It said the lowest average CoHD was recorded in the North-West at N723 per adult per day.

The NBS further said that at the state level, Ekiti, Lagos, and Osun recorded the highest CoHD at N1,295, N1,195, and N1,184, respectively.

The bureau said Katsina recorded the lowest CoHD at N673, followed by Sokoto and Zamfara at N714 and N720, respectively.

The report added that animal-source foods were the most expensive food group recommendation to meet in February, accounting for 38 per cent of the total CoHD to provide 13 per cent of the total calories.

It noted that fruits and vegetables were the most expensive food groups in terms of price per calorie.

“They accounted for 12 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively, of the total CoHD while providing only seven per cent and five per cent of total calories in the Healthy Diet Basket.

“Legumes, nuts, and seeds were the least-expensive food group on average, at six per cent of the total cost.’’

The report also says that in recent months, the CoHD had risen faster than general inflation and food inflation.

“However, the CoHD and the food Consumer Price Index (CPI) are not directly comparable.

“The CoHD includes fewer items and is measured in Naira per day, while the food CPI is a weighted index.

“The food CPI increased approximately by four per cent between January and February, while CoHD increased by nine per cent.’’

The NBS said the policy implications of these results would foster collaboration among a wide range of stakeholders, such as policymakers, researchers, and civil society actors that focus on food security.

“These stakeholders will devise strategies that tackle access, availability, and affordability of healthy diet effectively.

“Also, future research incorporating income can also be used to determine the proportion and number of people in the population that are unable to afford a healthy diet,” the report said.


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