Towards effecting solutions to the healthy living challenges facing the Nigerian society, beverage giant, Coca-Cola Nigeria has advocated for optimal nutrition in the first 1,000 days of life.

The beverage giant made a case for the optimal nutrition during the foetus stage of children at the 39th Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) which held at the Concorde Hotel, Owerri, Imo State.

Themed, “Food Industrialization; A Pathway to Agribusiness Transformation,” the two-day event commenced with a session on “Nutrition in the First 1,000 Days and its Effects in the Development of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).”

Speaking at the event’s flag-off, a Professor of Nutrition and Director of Academic Planning at the Ambrose Alli University, Prof. Ignatius Onimawo identified the first 1,000 days of life as a unique window of opportunity to prevent NCDs.

Prof. Onimawo explained that most NCDs such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases and cancer originate from the first 1,000 days of life.

He said that, “The NCDs experienced later in life are developed from the foetus stage. It is important to know that, as opposed to the notion that these non-infectious diseases are contracted from lifestyle choices or unhealthy eating habits, they actually set in at an early stage, within the first 1,000 days window period. After this period, we have little or no control over what happens.” 

Prof. Onimawo harped on the need to better educate expectant and nursing mothers to make informed decisions regarding nutritional care in the first 1,000 days of their babies’ lives.

Commenting on the event, the Community Affairs Manager, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Emeka Mba restated Coca- Cola’s commitment to supporting dialogue with stakeholders on health and nutritional education.

Mba said that, “Coca- Cola is actively supportive of over 280 physical activities and nutritional educational programs around the world. Through such engagements we are able to foster shared understanding and communication on health and nutritional issues.

While commending Coca-Cola Nigeria for being a long standing partner and sponsor of its projects, the National President, NIFST, Dr. Chijioke Osuji also urged other corporate bodies to emulate the beverage giant.

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About Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited

Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, an active citizen of the community and one of the most respected companies in Nigeria, is a subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company, the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands.  Led by Coca-Cola, one of the world's most valuable and recognizable brands, our Company's portfolio includes 20 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero, Fanta, Sprite, Vitamin Water, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks.

Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of more than 1.9 billion servings a day.  With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 System associates.