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Dietitians decry silent hunger in Nigeria

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Fuel subsidy removal is having a deteriorating effect on Nigerians.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been urged by the country’s dietitians to endeavour to make his emergency declaration on Food Security as detailed and inclusive as possible by including dietitians as important partners in leading the proposed campaign against food Insecurity. This request was made in a statement released on Sunday by the Institute for Dietetics in Nigeria (IDN), the national professional association for dietitians in Nigeria, in response to President Tinubu’s declaration of emergency on food security in the nation. They believed they could serve as instrumental in turning the tide of the fight.

Dele Alake, who serves as the president’s Special Adviser on Special Duties, Communication, and Strategy, announced at a media briefing, he stated that the government’s goal was to provide assistance to those members of the population who were the most vulnerable. On July 13, 2023, in reaction to the detrimental consequences that the removal of the Petroleum subsidy was having on Nigerians who were already at a disadvantage, President Bola Tinubu announced a State of Emergency on food security.

They should be actively involved in the fight to curb food insecurity.

Explaining further, the dietitians emphasised, in a statement that was signed by Tajudeen Olutope Ahmed, the National President of IDN, the significance of including them among the parties that are actively involved in the fight to curb food insecurity. According to food experts, a “silent hunger” is currently afflicting the vast majority of individuals living in Nigeria. They also emphasised that this problematic issue ought to be the focus of the Federal Government’s attention, as well.

Furthermore, they advocated for the incorporation of dietitians into the membership of the National Commodity Board in the country. In addition to this, it is recommended that dietitians be employed at each and every one of Nigeria’s health facilities, including individual wards, local governments, state governments, and federal organisations. Also, they emphasised the significance of working with the national professional body of Dietitians (IDN) to ensure the efficacy of the emergency declaration regarding food security.

A state of emergency on food security should be declared.

The dietitians highlighted that as food professionals with experience in the administration of food and Nutrition to improve wellness and oversee diseases, they state categorically that the problem of silent hunger, which has been wrecking the vast majority of the population in Nigeria as well as in Africa as a continent needs to be a worry to the government in establishing a state of emergency in food security. This was one of the main points that they made in their statement.

In other words, the issue of affordability is not the only major problem that many people in the country face. Concerns have also been raised about whether or not the foods currently on the market provide an adequate amount of the necessary macro and micronutrients. Dietitians have the potential to play an important role in winning the battle against the covert hunger that plagues Nigerians. In this manner, the fight against the insecure availability of food will be comprehensive and holistic.

Many foods are nutritionally deficient and require some enrichment.

Lastly, the vast majority of the foods that can be purchased currently are nutritionally deficient and require some kind of enrichment, fortification, or other sort of improvement. People, who are the final consumers, require to be provided with knowledge and guidance about the most effective methods to prepare and consume those foods that are accessible so as to provide the body with the maximum benefit possible. This is necessary in order to manage the resources that are available.


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