Cameroon is one of the countries with the lowest level of milk consumption in the world. Statistics tell us that populations across the national triangle consume less than 10 liters of milk per capita per year. This leaves us very far from the world average of 45 liters per capita per year. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), per capita milk consumption per year is 234 kg (241 liters) in developed countries compared to 69 kg (71 liters) in developing countries.
These and other figures were revealed during the first edition of the “rencontres Nutrition” organized by the Nestlé-Cameroon company, as a prelude to the 17th World Milk Day, which will be celebrated on Thursday 1 June 2017. According to the Dr Mathieu Ndomou, a teacher at the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Douala, who kept the men and women in the media during the meeting, milk is a very important element in the diet of both children and adults. By itself, it contains at least 15 elements that provide children with almost all the nutrients needed for their growth and development.
“Milk is the only food that provides all the nutrients needed for good growth and development; It promotes the development of the brain and intelligence, facilitates the fight against infections. It is an excellent source of calcium that strengthens bones and keeps teeth healthy; It prevents the development of malnutrition and allows a better development of the child, “assures the teacher. According to this specialist, it is recommended that a child drinks at least 500 ml (2 cups) of milk per day. If he/she is between 1 year and 3 years old, such a consumption completely fulfills his/her needs of calcium and one third of his/her needs in vitamin D.
It is also advised not to exceed 900 ml per day because excessive consumption of milk can be done to the detriment of the other foods necessary for the good growth of the child, we learned. Its non-consumption can expose to a number of diseases such as: rickets, anemia, osteoporosis (skeletal disease characterized by a decrease in bone mass, accompanied by an alteration of the architecture of bone tissue likely to cause a high risk of fracture). Dr Ndomou advocates better consumer awareness of the usefulness of milk consumption for the growth of children and for the food balance of all. The low purchasing power of the Cameroonian population is part of the explanation given around these ridiculous figures on the consumption of milk in Cameroon.