Health Sector Component of National Food and Nutrition Policy

Malnutrition and nutrition related diseases continue to be problems of great public health importance in Nigeria. Despite being a lower-middle-income country, Nigeria has the highest number of stunted children under age five in sub-Saharan Africa, and the second highest in the world, with 37% of all children under five classified as stunted and 19% as severely stunted.

Additionally, micronutrient deficiencies, which may be hidden to the naked eye, are pervasive throughout Nigeria with vitamin A, zinc, iron, folic acid, and iodine being the most common. Also of public health importance is the rising prevalence of overweight and obesity, which is affecting more and more Nigerians.

There are many causes of malnutrition in Nigeria, but the most obvious are poor infant and child feeding practices, lack of access to healthcare, water, and sanitation, and a high level of poverty.