A rise in unemployment results in low income, which causes poor diet. Nigeria has a gap in its protein consumption. The cost of protein in Nigeria is high and this restricts the consumption level (of protein). Cost and household income level are the main hindrances to adequate intake of protein in Nigeria. Income Gap!

The poverty level in Nigeria is contributing largely to the protein deficiency problem. The majority of Nigerians use more than 68 per cent of their income in purchasing protein foods.

This is, for many Nigerians, a heavy burden; one that many would seek to avoid. So, naturally, protein intake declines to unacceptable levels. Poverty!
Protein deficiency in pregnant women could affect their unborn children. Pregnant women should ensure that they eat a balanced diet at all times.

Nigeria has the second-highest burden of stunted children in the world. Growth and nutritional value are the main concepts associated with proteins and soybeans. Children and women should be prioritized in protein consumption in households. Prioritize Children in Protein Consumption!

Poor knowledge of food and protein leads to nutrient deficiency, poor diet and protein deficiency. We consume foods but we do not know the nutritional content of the food that we eat. To effectively tackle protein deficiency, we must eat right. Knowledge!

National orientation agency should promote protein awareness to the general public. The majority of these organizations also carry out CSR in sensitizing the public on eating a balanced diet. Word of mouth is currently the major source of awareness on protein food sources. Create Awareness!

The margin of people that are unemployed in Nigeria is on the rise. Agriculture can provide solutions here. It creates employment, empowers people and produces protein-rich food.

Agriculture contributes to the nutrition status of any economy. The potential of the agricultural sector to alleviate protein deficiency is very high. Encourage Agriculture! 

Food consumption patterns in Nigeria lean too much towards carbohydrates. Every day more and more people turn to rice, fufu, bread, pasta, yams and noodles. Protein-rich foods like soybeans, beans, legumes need to be consumed more.

The most commonly consumed soybeans derivates are Soy Milk, Soy Powder, Soy Oil and Fried Soybeans. The use of a healthy food plate is important in meal planning. Explore Protein Power!

Though there have been some public-private sector interventions on soybeans, there is a need for more collective and collaborative efforts to drive more awareness.

If affordability is a major limitation to the daily consumption of protein-rich meals, then soybeans should be a staple in households across Nigeria. Soybeans are a protein-rich food source. It needs to be consumed more across the country. Soypower! 

It is advisable to consume protein from natural sources rather than take protein pills for our protein intake. The medical background of the patient is very important. Proper dieting is essential for the patient. Medicine is the last resort after the diet fails. Eat Well. Get Protein!
Fun fact: Beans are the most consumed protein food by 81 per cent of Nigerians. 

Elvis Eromosele, a Corporate Communication professional and public affairs analyst lives in Lagos.


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