The Nutrition Society of Nigeria also said that exclusively breastfeeding a baby for six months will improve a child’s brain development.
The society’s Lagos State chapter Chairman, Dr Oluwatosin Adu, made the assertion at a seminar to mark the 2017 World Breastfeeding Week, in Agege, on Friday.
The breastfeeding week has the theme: “Controversy in Nutrition, Separating Facts, Fads and Falacy’’.
Adu said the programme was geared toward sensitising the public, from the grassroots, on ways to ensure that infants and adults had good health through nutrition.
According to him, exclusively breastfeeding a baby for six months will improve a child’s brain development.
“Adequate nutrition is a foundation for a wealthy and prosperous nation and what we are doing is to sensitise the public and members of this community on the benefits of breastfeeding a baby.
“One of the ways we want go about this is by identifying the artisans, associations and communities; the programme is not for women alone, men are also participating and they are expected to pass the information to their families and others.
“Breast milk contains all the vitamins and nutrients a baby needs in the first six months of life, thereby preventing the chances of a baby getting malnourished.
“It is also packed with disease-fighting substances that protect a baby from illnesses and allergies: breast milk makes a baby to get adequate weight gain.
“It also aids in the cognitive development of a baby,’’ said Adu, a lectures at the Department of Biochemistry, Lagos State University (LASU).
He urged the participants to utilise the knowledge from the programme to ensure that their children got the necessary nutrition required of them to prevent malnutrition.
Mr Olushola Abimbola, National Publicity Secretary of NSN, said that climate change and migration of people had posed major challenges to high malnutrition.
“A lot of people spend their man-hour in the hospital trying to see a doctor on one ailment or the other.
“If our children are given adequate nutrition, it will reduce or eradicate some diseases in their body.
“There is a need for mothers to adequately breastfeed their children and also eat nutritious foods,’’ Abimbola said.
Mrs Motunrayo Alabi, a fashion designer and a participant, commended the society for the training.
She urged the society to spread the campaign to hospitals and maternity homes in the state for more people to benefit.
Another participant, Mr Akeem Ogunmoye, said the seminar was a good initiative.
He promised to inform members of his families on the benefits of good nutrition as it had great impact on the baby, mother and whole family.
Mrs Funke Aluko, a mother, urged parents and community elders to disseminate the information received at the seminar to everyone, especially mothers, to reduce mortality rate.