The surge in Inflation Drives 32% Increase in Cost of Healthy Diet to N1,041 per Day in May 2024

This trend has placed a substantial burden on Nigerian households striving to afford nutritious diets amidst rising living costs. A month-by-month analysis from the NBS report illustrates the continuous escalation in the CoHD over the past six months

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed a significant rise in the cost of maintaining a healthy diet, which soared by 32 percent from N786 per adult per day in December 2023 to N1,041 in May 2024.

The dramatic increase underscores the persistent inflationary pressures affecting essential food items across Nigeria. In its CoHD report for May 2024, released yesterday, the NBS attributed the surge to the escalating prices of starchy staples, legumes, nuts and seeds, and animal source foods.

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This trend has placed a substantial burden on Nigerian households striving to afford nutritious diets amidst rising living costs. A month-by-month analysis from the NBS report illustrates the continuous escalation in the CoHD over the past six months.

In January 2024, the cost of a healthy diet increased by 9.2 percent month-on-month (MoM) to N858 from December’s N786. The upward trend continued in February, with a 9.3 percent rise to N938, followed by a 4.7 percent increase to N982 in March.

April saw another 5.4 percent jump to N1,035, and by May, the CoHD edged up by 0.6 percent to N1,041. “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 months, since December 2023,” the NBS stated.

“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 report highlighted that starchy staples, legumes, nuts and seeds, and animal source foods were the primary drivers of this increase. Conversely, vegetables and fruits experienced the smallest price increments on a month-on-month basis.

Breaking down the cost share by food group, the NBS report noted that animal source foods were the most expensive to meet in May, constituting 36 percent of the total CoHD while providing just 13 percent of the total calories. This indicates a high cost relative to the caloric value derived from these foods.

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Fruits and vegetables, despite being crucial for a balanced diet, emerged as the priciest in terms of cost per calorie. They accounted for 11 percent and 12 percent of the total CoHD respectively, while contributing only 7.0 percent and 5.0 percent of the total calories in the healthy diet basket.

On the other end of the spectrum, legumes, nuts, and seeds were the least expensive food groups, averaging 7.0 percent of the total CoHD. This category provided a cost-effective option for Nigerians seeking nutritious food sources amid the economic challenges.

The sustained rise in the cost of a healthy diet reflects broader inflationary trends impacting the country. It highlights the need for comprehensive policy measures to address food price inflation and ensure that nutritious diets remain accessible to all segments of the population.

As households grapple with these escalating costs, the NBS report underscores the urgent necessity for interventions to stabilize food prices and support the nutritional needs of Nigerians.

 

This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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