The Nigerian team is led by Dr. Clement Adebamowo and includes researchers from the Institute of Human Virology and the Nigerian Research Consortium.
- Akarolo-Anthony S, Willett WC, Spiegelman D, and Adebamowo CA. Obesity epidemic has emerged among Nigerians. BMC Public Health. 2014; 14:455.
- Akarolo-Anthony S, Odubore FO, Yilme S, Aragbada O, Odonye G, Hu FB, Willett WC, Spiegelman D , Adebamowo CA. Pattern of dietary carbohydrate intake in urbanized adult Nigerians. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 2013 May; 64(3):292-9.
Nigeria at a Glance
Area: 923,768 sq km
Median age: total: 18.2 years
Urban population: 49.6% of total population
Life expectancy: male: 51.63 yr ; female: 53.66 yr
Per Capita GDP: $2,800
Language: English (official), Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo (Ibo), Fulani, over 500 additional indigenous languages
Location: Western Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Benin and Cameroon
Agriculture: Cocoa, peanuts, cotton, palm oil, corn, rice, sorghum, millet, cassava (tapioca), yams, rubber; cattle, sheep, goats, pigs; timber; fish
Diet and culture:
The Portuguese were the first Europeans to reach Nigeria. European explorers and traders introduced several food staples to western Africa, such as beans, cassava, and maize. These foods were introduced to the explorers while on journeys to America; they, in turn, brought the foods to western Africa. Asian seasonings such as pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg were also brought back, and are still used to flavor dishes.
Nigeria has such a variety of people and cultures that it is difficult to pick one national dish. Each area has its own regional favorite that depends on customs, tradition, and religion. The different foods available also depend on the season: the “hungry season” is before the rains arrive in March, and the “season of surplus” follows the harvest in October and November. Fruits, however, are enjoyed year-round. A large part of Nigeria lies in the tropics, where many fruits are available. Some of the popular fruits are oranges, melons, grapefruits, limes, mangoes, bananas, and pineapples.
People of the northern region (mostly Muslim, whose beliefs prohibit eating pork) have diets based on beans, sorghum (a type of grain), and brown rice. The Hausa people of this region also like to eat meat in the form of tsere or suya (kebabs, which are chunks of roasted, skewered meat). Muslims love to drink tea, making coffeehouses popular places to socialize.
The people from the eastern part of Nigeria, mostly Igbo/Ibo, eat gari (cassava powder) dumplings, pumpkins, and yams. Yams are usually eaten in place of potatoes and are an important part of the Nigerian diet.
Traditional Nigeria yam fufu
Wazabia whole grain fufu, crafted at the Harvard School of Public Health by Drs. Donna Spiegelman and Sally Akarolo-Anthony
Ugali and Cabbage