The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammed Bello Umar has stated that maintaining a healthy diet would help the overall health of a person. He disclosed this in Abuja at the School Quiz Competition which is one of the events earmarked to celebrate 2019 World Food Day, with the theme: ‘’ our Actions are our Future. Healthy diets for A #ZeroHunger’’,
Addressing the students, Dr. Umar said , ‘’ my dear children, as you may be aware, a healthy diet is a diet that helps to maintain or improve the overall health of a person, it comprises of carbohydrate ,protein, fats & oil, water, mineral , salt and vitamins”. He noted that ‘’ a healthy diet is important because the organs and tissues in the human our body need proper nutrition to work effectively ,without good diet the body is prone to diseases, infection ,fatigue, poor performance and malnutrition, which experts says is the underlying cause of 45 percent of all deaths of under five years children worldwide’’.
The Permanent Secretary stated that the Federal Government recognized the role of healthy diet as a developmental issue, which has led to the development of a Food Guide by MDAs made up of Agriculture, Health, Environment, Information, Universities, among other sector.
Dr. Umar informed that ‘’ the Food Guide is a guide for healthy eating and for all Nigerians. It is a food pyramid that is divided into five food groups using locally produced food’’ ‘’At the bottom are bread, grains, and tubers, followed by vegetables and fruits eaten sparingly with confectionery, a glass of water is placed outside the pyramid with the advice to always drink lot of water, for full benefits of a healthy diet. He highlighted some of the benefits of healthy diet to include weight loss, reduced cancer risk, Diabetes Management, Healthy heart and stroke prevention, strong bones and teeth.
DR Umar applauded the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), OXFAM, Action Aid, Leventis Foundation Nigeria, for their continual contribution towards Agricultural Development in Nigeria.
In his remarks, FAO COUNTRY Representative in Nigeria, Suffyan Koroma, who was represented by the World Food Day Coordinator , Hajia Saadiya Haliru stated that ‘’ the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) fully recognizes the importance of food and nutrition security and assured that the organization remains focused on its mandate of raising the levels of nutrition and standards of living and ensuring humanity’s freedom from hunger by promoting sustainable agricultural development and alleviating poverty’’.
Koroma further said ‘’on our part, FAO has developed educational materials for universities, trained school’s curriculum developers as well as nutrition education professionals. This was as a result of a needs based assessment in seven countries that revealed a lack of adequate training for nutrition educators. FAO launched the nutrition course ENACT in 2015, IN partnership with African academic institutions, Nigeria inclusive’’
The School Quiz Completion had ten secondary schools in attendance namely; Nigeria Turkish International Colleges, Government Secondary School Tudun Wada Zone 4, Fou’ad Lababidi Islamic Academy Basic Education, Olumawu International School, WUSE 11, Government Secondary School, WUSE, Federal Government Day Secondary School, APO, Garki , Paris Africana International Secondary School among others.
The prizes for the Quiz Completion were awarded in the following order, first position – Nigeria Turkish International Colleges, Second place went TO Paris Africana International Secondary School, while Government Day Secondary School Garki came third.