The Country Director, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Dr Micheal Ojo says that intake of poor quality diet remains the number one risk factor for ill health.
Ojo stated this in an interview with the press in Abuja.
He noted that the quality of people’s diets depended on their food systems, right from when the food was grown to when it was eaten.
“For many Nigerians, the daily contact with nutrition is only on food product labels. Teaching of Nutrition as a subject starts only in secondary schools and even at that, it is not compulsory.
“No wonder the ability to make informed food choices in adulthood becomes a problem, the dietician said.
Ojo said research has shown that many common food-related ailments such as diabetes and obesity could be prevented or reduced, if there was adequate nutritional knowledge.
“We believe that transforming our food systems to make them work better for people’s nutrition and health is one of the biggest challenges facing humanity in the 21st century.
That is why we are encouraging business owners, especially food producers to have some nutrition knowledge or get the services of an expert in that area.
This will be one way to ensure the provision of nutritious products and communicate clearly the product nutritional benefits on labels.
They should be able to provide such information in simple and clear language to guide the consumers in making healthy food choices,’’ he said.
The dietician advised that food producers should not list out ingredients in quantities that the consumers would not understand, but should explain what each ingredient does to people’s wellbeing.