As part of measures of sensitizing secondary school students on the importance of consuming healthy and nutritious foods, the Nutrition Society of Nigeria, FCT Chapter has organized a nutrition debate in Abuja to mark the 2021 World Children’s day celebration.
The Chairperson of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria FCT Chapter, Dr Florence Uchendu said good nutrition knowledge is one of the major factors that will help the citizens to defeat malnutrition and non-communicable diseases in Nigeria.
According to Dr Uchendu, these deaths are preventable if a healthy lifestyle is adopted through the consumption of healthy meals. “According to the World Health Organization, 7 in every 10 deaths annually is caused by non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, stroke, cancer, and obesity. Nigerian Demographic Household Survey, 2018, reported that stunting among preschool children in Nigeria is 37%. Based on this premise, and looking at malnutrition indices in Nigeria, the Nutrition Society of Nigeria FCT Chapter decided to organize a nutrition debate in Secondary Schools in FCT to pass nutrition knowledge to the students to catch them young because they are our future leaders.”
“If our children imbibe adequate nutrition knowledge on time, they will pass it to their parents, families, communities, peer groups and the society at large and Nigeria will be better for it.”
She called on the Education Stakeholders in charge of education Curriculum to include Nutrition Subject in the curricula of Primary and Secondary Schools as well as making it a compulsory GST course in Nigerian Universities.
Dr Uchendu said the Chapter hopes to make the nutrition debate among Food and Nutrition Clubs in Secondary Schools in FCT an annual event. The Society hopes to also strengthen the existing clubs, establish Food and Nutrition clubs in the schools where there are none and encourage school Gardens. She solicited the support of Development partners, NGOs and Food companies to enable the Chapter to achieve these objectives.
The Nutrition Society of Nigeria, a non-profit professional and non-governmental Society bring together nutrition and nutrition-related professionals in Nigeria to share nutrition ideas, discuss burning issues and proffer solutions to food and nutrition-related concerns towards the eradication of malnutrition, diseases and sickness in Nigeria especially among Nigeria Children.
The Principal of Government Science and Technical Secondary School, Abaji Mallam Saheed Isah who represented the Acting Director, Department of Science & Technology at the occasion emphasized the importance of nutrition knowledge to the younger generation.
He said most health challenges people face today are as a result of ignorance of the right composition of food.
“Most of the health challenges is as a result of an unbalanced diet, hence if the programme of this nature is being maintained, it will go a long way in addressing most of the health challenges.’
“The programme through organised debate will help instil interest in the children to see to their diet, and as well take interest in studying nutrition because as at today, the subject is important as some universities make it a requirement for their medicine student to understand the necessary components of the biochemistry nature of the body.
‘The Principal appreciated the effort of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria, FCT Chapter and pledged the support of the Education sector to the achievement of the nutrition goals.