Africa is ranked second to Asia as the continent with the most malnourished children in the world and within Africa, Nigeria suffers the brunt of malnutrition with the largest proportion of under-nourished children. A low-quality diet is one of the major causes of all forms of malnutrition whether overweight, obesity or under-nutrition including micronutrient deficiency. Evidenced by the prevalence of malnutrition in Nigeria, many children do not receive the diets needed in the right quality, quantity and frequency for their growth and development. The role of the food system is to deliver a nutritious, safe, affordable, diverse and sustainable diet. Although children in Nigeria constitute almost half of the whole population, they are often neglected in the growing discourse about food systems.
Choices International and partners will bring together stakeholders from national and international organizations, government, academia and, the private sector to an independent dialogue titled “Improving Child Nutrition in Nigeria through Food System actions” to give insight into how the food system can improve child nutrition.
The overall objective of the independent dialogue is to discuss and recommend workable pathways for the improvement of child nutrition through evidence-based food system actions in Nigeria. It will be an open dialogue between different stakeholders to understand challenges and explore untapped opportunities in the food system for better child nutrition outcomes.
This dialogue will focus on three sub-themes (1) Food value chain (2) Food environment (3) Nutrition education. Food value chains are seen as part of the broader efforts to not only achieve food security but improve nutrition as well as contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Thus, food value chains need to be nutrition- sensitive to improve child nutrition. Furthermore, children’s food environment shapes their diets. A healthy food environment and nutrition education can foster and support better food choices and practices among children.
For more information on our work in Africa, head over to our Regional Hub page.