The National President of the Dietitians Association of Nigeria, Prof. Lizzy Ngwu has blamed the upsurge of non communicable diseases in Nigeria to poor dietary practices.
Ngwu, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Friday, listed the non communicable diseases to include hypertension, diabetes, obesity and some cancers.
“We have all witnessed the high increase of people suffering from these diseases. They are diet related and can be prevented by eating right.
“Eating right is when you eat natural foods that are available in different seasons.
“Our local foods such as maize, African yam beans, bambara groundnut known as okpa are rich in protein, minerals and even in carbohydrates.
“When combined with vegetables abundant in our environment, fruits and some animal foods like crayfish and fish, it provides nutritious meals which go a long way in improving our health.
“These are far better than processed foods like noodles, foreign rice, tinned foods because they have lost their natural ingredients and are potential poisons,’’ she said.
The president also said that lifestyle especially when one lived sedentary lives devoid of physical exercises led to non communicable diseases.
“So diet and physical exercises go hand in hand. There is a synergy between the two,’’ the professor said.
Ngwu however, decried the high rate of quackery in dietary profession and urged the National Assembly to pass the bill seeking to regulate its practices and activities in the country.
According to her, some people in other related professions always prescribe wrong dietary needs for people. This is wrong.
“A dietician works with evidence based information backed by research to confirm that dietary prescriptions yield positive result.
“If you buy food, prepare it the wrong way, it gives way to diseases. So these diseases are preventable,’’ she said.