A Consultant Gastroenterologist with the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Dr. Olufunke Adeniyi, has said that south-eastern soups are the most nutritious in Nigeria.
According to Adeniyi, South Eastern soups are usually prepared with rich vegetables and often cooked with little or no oil making them more nutritious and healthy compared to other traditional soups known to other parts of the country.
She said this at a one-day fortification workshop organised by Nestle Nigeria in Lagos.
Adeniyi said, “South-Eastern soups are very rich in micro and macro nutrients. Their soups contain a lot of leafy vegetables and so most of their children are not really micronutrient deficient.
“However, this is the challenge to those in other regions. For instance, parents in the South West need to improve the quality of food their children eat as a way of correcting nutrient deficiency.
“At least 25 per cent of Nigerian children suffer from vitamin A deficiency, the commonest cause of blindness in children under five years. Also, Nigeria falls into the zone that has severe iron deficiency anaemia.
“We thought iodine deficiency was not an issue, unfortunately, we are seeing some degrees of iodine deficiency. Recent figures show that 20 million babies are born per year with mental impairment due to iodine deficiency despite all the fortification that is still going on.”
The Chief Executive Officer, Nestlé Nigeria, Mr. Dharnesh Gordhon, who was represented by the Manager Corporate Communications, Dr. Samuel Adenekan, assured Nigerians that the company would not compromise its fortification policy which, he said was essential to the growth and development of children.
Adenekan said, “We have been tackling dietary deficiencies in Nigeria with our fortified food products. We are also committed to various initiatives to address the issue of malnutrition in the country especially among children and their mothers.”