By Felicia Imohimi
Abuja – Prof. Ngozi Nnam, President, Federation of African Nutrition Societies, on Friday said that good nutrition was the bedrock of national development.
Nnam told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the wealth of a nation could be determined by how nourished and healthy the populace was.
“Nutrition is the bedrock of national development in the sense that it is this food we eat that will determine whether we will be in a state of good nutrition, good health to contribute meaningfully to national development.
“Nutrition is important from conception because during the foetal stage the organs are developing including the brain and it is the brain that controls all human activities.
“If the mother is not feeding well during pregnancy the foetus will not develop well equally and this will bring a gap in the development of various organs of the body including the brain.
“This gap will in a long way affect the child all through his life time,’’ he said.
The don explained that nutrition was important from conception to the age of five, stressing that the kind of food pregnant mothers eat could either deter or improve the development of the child’s brain among other organs.
According to him, any child that is not fed well and right from conception to age five will not be able to contribute meaningfully to national develop.
Nnam noted that nutrition was not the presence of food, but eating the right kind of diet that would boost the health, growth and development of the entire body system.
The nutritionist expressed concern at the rating of Nigeria as the leading country in Africa with a high rate of malnourished children, blaming this development on ignorance on how to eat right and healthy.
He said that if a country had a large population of malnourished children, they would find it difficult to attend school and be productive citizens in future.
According to him, such individuals will not be able to come up with ideas that will help in national development. (NAN)
By Felicia Imohimi