Over 800 million people are undernourished globally and Nigeria is the fourth largest contributor to this, Worldometer says.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, undernourishment means that a person is not able to acquire enough food to meet the daily minimum dietary energy requirements over a period of one year.
FAO defines hunger as being synonymous with chronic undernourishment.
Worldometer, formerly Worldometers, is a reference website that provides counters and real-time statistics for diverse topics. It is owned and operated by a Chinese data company, Dadax, which generates revenue through online advertising.
The data reference website says 25,600,000 Nigerians are not able to acquire enough food to meet the daily minimum dietary energy requirements.
Using the 2018 population of Nigeria, the data shows that 13.07 percent of Nigerians are undernourished.
As of the time of filing this report on Friday [today], 849,762,204 people are undernourished globally.
Top on the list of 10 countries with the highest number of people who are undernourished is India, with 194,400,000; China, 121,400,000; and Pakistan, 40,000,000.
Bangladesh is fifth with 24,200,000; followed by Indonesia, 22,000,000; Ethiopia 21,600,000; Uganda 17,600,000; Tanzania 17,600,000 and Kenya, 14,600,000.
According to the World Health Organisation, malnutrition, in all its forms, includes undernutrition (wasting, stunting, underweight), inadequate vitamins or minerals, overweight, obesity, and resulting diet-related non-communicable diseases.
“47 million children under five years of age are wasted, 14.3 million are severely wasted and 144 million are stunted, while 38.3 million are overweight or obese.
“Around 45 percent of deaths among children under five years of age are linked to undernutrition. These mostly occur in low- and middle-income countries. At the same time, in these same countries, rates of childhood overweight and obesity are rising.
“The developmental, economic, social, and medical impacts of the global burden of malnutrition are serious and lasting, for individuals and their families, for communities and for countries,” WHO said.
Speaking with PUNCH HealthWise on improving the nutrition status in Nigeria, a Public Health Physician, Dr. Oladoyin Odubanjo, says there is the need for collaboration between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture in Nigeria to ensure nutrition security and food security.
“Our nutrition issues in the country are generally passed through the Ministry of Health while our food security projects are passed through the Ministry of Agriculture and it’s painful that we think nutrition is a problem of health that health experts have to deal with and food security is the problem that Agriculture experts have to deal with.
“But we need to have a collaboration between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture.
“Also, we cannot afford to stay as a country that imports what we eat; we must change those dynamics to produce what we eat. We have to look at what we already have in the country, what we can produce, and start identifying the nutritional values of those foods.
“That said, we need to do a lot of education to let people know what the available foods can for them. So, when we talk about a balanced diet, people should not be thinking of expensive food but we need to let them know that in their society, some cheap foods are highly nutritious for them to be healthy,” Odubanjo said.
Dr. Odubanjo, who is the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Academy of Science also noted that efforts must be made to end the Fulani herdsmen and Farmers’ crisis in the country.
“We must take the Fulani herdsmen and farmers’ situation very seriously otherwise it’s going to lead to food insecurity. But if we allow it to spread across, it will take another three to four years to restore food security; so, we must take it very seriously and understand the implication that it goes beyond human insecurity.
“Even for the rest of us who may not be farmers, it concerns us because it’s going to threaten our nutrition eventually,” he said.
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