A public health physician, Dr Omadeli Boyo, has advised Nigerians to imbibe the habit of eating balanced diets.
Boyo gave the advice at a Protein Deficiency Awareness webinar, themed, ‘Nigeria Food Culture and the Challenge of Protein Deficiency.’
He said, “Most Nigerian staple foods have a large percentage of carbohydrate. Nigerians, therefore, need to deliberately plan to eat a balanced diet. This, however, is not something that can be changed overnight because food is life. It must be a gradual process.”
“In some cultures, it is believed that if children are given eggs, they will grow up to become thieves, not knowing that children even need more protein-rich foods like eggs.”
Boyo urged governments, parents, teachers, non-governmental organisations and religious bodies to join the awareness campaign on protein deficiency.
Also, the President, Poultry Association of Nigeria, Mr Ezekiel Ibrahim, said chickens and soybeans were among the cheapest sources of proteins readily available.
He lamented the insecurity situation in some northern states, saying it was capable of hampering the production and subsequent availability of protein foods.
Ibrahim added that agriculture was the cornerstone of proper nutrition, urging the federal and state governments to pay closer and more serious attention to it.
The webinar was organised to raise the awareness about the prevalence, status and impact of protein deficiency in Nigeria.