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PROJECT TOPIC: FOOD CONSUMPTION PATTERN, ANTHROPOMETRIC INDICES AND MICRONUTRIENT STATUS OF CHILDREN AGED 6 – 59 MONTHS IN KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA

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CHAPTER ONE

1.0    INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

The World Development Report (WDR, 2007/2008) ranks Nigeria as the largest territorial unit in West Africa that has over one hundred and forty-seven million people (147,000.000). Approximately, 75% of the population is women and children.  Over 70% are residing and securing their livelihoods in the rural areas. Within this huge rural population, particularly among the urban poor, Nigeria infant and child mortality rates are alarming. The rate is 100 per 1,000 births and mortality of 1,100 per 100,000 live births.  Most of these deaths are due to lack of adequate intake of food or inappropriate combinations of food (Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) (2008). Akinyele (2009) reported a high level of malnutrition among children in rural Nigeria. The figures differed with geopolitical zones, 56 percent was reported in a rural area of South West and 84.3 percent in three rural communities in the northern part of Nigeria.

 High level Task Force on Global Food Crisis (HTFGFC, 2008) reported that inadequate diet and malnutrition are the major cause of death of over 3.5 million children, every year at a rate of more than 10,000 children per day. Inadequate dietary pattern is a threat to health and under-nutrition, mainly in young children. Inappropriate and inadequate dietary patterns have emerged as a major development crisis facing Nigeria today. Inadequate dietary patterns have serious implication on the growth and health of individuals and have a huge effect on the country’s productivity. The United Nations Development Programme Report (UNDP) (2007) states that adequate diet and health of the people are indicators of the country’s socio-economic situation. Apart from shelter and clothing as the basic needs of life, food remains the core or apex in the hierarchy of human needs. This is because of its importance not just to children but to the entire human existence. Over two thirds of child’s deaths are associated with inappropriate feeding practices that occur within the first year of life. Malnourished children who survive are more frequently sick and suffer the lifelong consequences of impaired development (Hatloy, Hallund, Diarra & Oshaug, 2000).


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