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Cost of healthy diet rises 32% in five months — NBS

At the backdrop of sustained surge in inflation, it has been established that cost of a Healthy Diet, CoHD, rose by 32 percent to N1,041 per adult per day in May 2024 from N786 in December 2023.

The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, disclosed this yesterday in its CoHD report for May 2024, noting that the rise was driven by increase in the prices of starchy staples, legumes, nuts and seeds, and animal source foods.

Analysis of the NBS CoHD report for the period (December 2023 to May 2024) showed that the cost of healthy diet increased by 9.2 percent month-on-month, MoM, to N858 in January 2024 from N786 in December 2023. CoHD increased by 9.3 percent to N938 in February and up by 4.7 percent to N982 in March.

The upward trend continued in April as CoHD grew by 5.4 percent to N1,035 in April and up by 0.6 percent to N1,041 in May.

The report stated: “The national average cost of a healthy diet was N1,041 per adult per day in May 2024. The CoHD has been steadily rising over the past six (6) months, since December 2023.

“In May 2024, the CoHD was 32 percent higher than it was in December 2023 (N786). It was also 1.0 percent higher than the cost in April 2024 (N1,035).

“The main drivers of this increase in CoHD are starchy staples, legumes, nuts and seeds, and animal source foods. Vegetables and fruits, on the other hand, saw the smallest increase in price month-on-month.”

On cost share by food group, NBS said: “Animal source foods were the most expensive food group recommendation to meet in May, accounting for 36 percent of the total CoHD to provide 13 percent of the total calories.

“Fruits and vegetables were the most expensive food groups in terms of price per calorie. They accounted for 11 percent and 12 percent, respectively, of total CoHD, while providing only 7.0 percent and 5.0 percent of total calories in the healthy diet basket.

“Legumes, nuts and seeds were the least-expensive food group on average, at 7.0 percent of the total cost.”

The bureau noted that at the state level, Ebonyi State had the highest average CoHD with N1,225 per adult per day, while Kano State accounted for the lowest cost with N898.

At the zonal level, the South East had the highest CoHD with N1,189 per day, while the North West had the lowest average CoHD with N919 per day.

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