Experts Canvass Innovative Inclusion of Milk into Daily Diets



L-R: WHO Team Lead, Dr Ahmed Kelia; Dr Enitan Ademuson, director, programme, NHF; Prof. Babatunde Salako, director general, NIMR; Dr Olorunnibe Mamora, minister, Science, Technology and Innovation and Dr Kingsley Akinroye, executive director, NHF, at the stakeholders meeting.


To bridge the wide gap in nutritional needs of Nigerians, nutrition experts have advocated innovative means of incorporating milk into daily diets. They argued that milk and other diary products can be added to foods or fruits creatively, beyond the traditional usage of milk with tea or other beverages.

They decried the per capita milk consumption per person in Nigeria, which is estimated at 8 litres per year, as against the WHO recommendation of 210 litres per person in a year, making milk consumption far too low in the country. The nutritionists also concluded that 8 litres per year is equivalent to 21.9mls of milk per day, which is about a volume of 20mls syringe.

The nutritionists further posited that most sicknesses that lead to hospitalisation are due to intake of imbalance diets, where the acidity level is disproportionate to alkaline level, as they condemned the widespread notion that it is only the affluent that can eat healthily, saying it is not until one is stinkingly rich that he can consume healthy food.

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The Nigerian Heart Foundation (NHF) and nutritional practitioners made the submission at a recent stakeholders meeting on heart-healthy milk, nutritious food and livelihood, urging the Federal Government to urgently revise the national food policies to incorporate more milk consumption for children and adults.

In his presentation at the programme, titled “ Healthy food for all: concept and implications”, the President, Nutrition Society of Nigeria(NSN) Prof. Wasiu Afolabi, averred that the stressful condition of most Nigerian cities demand the intake of healthy foods for all to neutralise effects of free radicals in the human system.

He however bemoaned the ignorance of many Nigerians on healthy diets, which usually lead to increase in hospital admission, due to the consumption of unhealthy meals for their bodies.

Afolabi, who was represented by the Lagos State Chairman, NSN, Mrs CeliaPenny Moses-Nagbiku, said since Nigeria is yet to meet up with world average or WHO standard for milk consumption, he urged the Federal Government to incorporate in its food guidelines, adequate milk consumption for its citizens.

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“Milk and other dairy products should form an integral part of School Feeding Programme to build the diary consumption culture in the country”, he stated.

Professor O.A. Olorunnisomo, a specialist in dairy science and ruminant production, also highlighted the importance of milk consumption to the human system, stating that it makes one very intelligent, while a cup of milk before bed time gives good sleep, due to it tranquilising effects.

He however shattered the controversy surrounding the intake of diary products from different schools of thoughts, as he summed it in a clear and concise way, urging people to follow the safe approach of not taking full fat milk in isolation.

In his contribution at the programme, the WHO Team Lead, Dr Ahmed Kelia, admonished participants on the essence of good nutrition with exercise, which enhances the maintenance of healthy heart.

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He cited an example of his work life pattern, which doesn’t accommodate any official work after closing hours, and he communicates same to his team members too, not to engage in official assignments after closure of work, for their heart health.

The Executive Director, NHF, Dr Kingsley Akinroye, chronicled the progress achieved by the organisation in the pursuit of heart-hearty foods, especially palm oil, which was earlier demonised by the western world, but indigenous research had found it not to be true.

The consultant cardiologist called for more collaboration among stakeholders for research to improve milk products, as well as promote Front of Pack Labelling and Heart-Healthy Mark Certification of all milk and dairy products sold and served in Nigeria.

He also advocated funding for the school home grown feeding programme to ensure food rich in milk and milk products are consistently served in all schools.













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