Malnutrition: Expert harps on regular checking of Body Mass Index


By Philip Yatai
Zaria (Kaduna State), June 17, 2021 A Fellow of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Malam Sani Hassan, on Thursday, advised people on regular checking of Body Mass Index (BMI) to monitor weight gain and prevent diet-related diseases.

He gave the advice in Zaria at a two-day Quarterly Coordination and Review Meeting on Food and Nutrition” with Nutrition Focal Persons in the 23 local government areas of Kaduna State.

Naija247news reports that the meeting was organised by the Planning and Budget Commission (PBC), with support from the United UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Hassan, a Technical Adviser on Nutrition to Kaduna State Emergency Nutrition Action Plan, explained that BMI measured a person’s weight in kilogrammes divided by the square of height in meters.

According to him, a high BMI can indicate high body fat and screens weight categories that may lead to health problems.

“BMI is a critical indicator of health and general wellbeing of people.

“Consistent increase in BMI is a journey toward obesity, accompanied by diet-related non-communicable diseases like kidney, liver and heart disease, hypertension, cancer and diabetes, among others.”

He added that regular BMI check would enable people to watch their weight by monitoring their dietary intake and engage in exercise to maintain healthy weight for healthy living.

He advised nutrition officials in the state to go beyond promotion to projecting good dietary habits by maintaining healthy weight.

The nutrition expert said about 80 per cent of diseases affecting Nigerians were diet-related and could be curbed with good dietary knowledge and attitude.

He said that a significant number of Nigerians were not aware of the linkage between what they eat and their health.

According to him, such ignorance is largely responsible for the frightening increase in the number of diet-related diseases among both the young and the older population.

Mrs Priscilla Dariya, the Deputy Director, Development Aid Coordination of PBC, said that the objective of the meeting was to review nutrition activities in the state.

Dariya said that the meeting was also to document barriers and opportunities for optimal nutrition practices and improve capacity of members on how to implement nutrition programmes.

“The meeting was also to facilitate coordination of nutrition activities in local government areas and encourage behavioural change toward positive living,” she said.