BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Food consumption has been a subject of research all over the world. It is especially meaningful in developing countries where food expenditures account for a relatively large share of household income. Studies of food consumption shed light on food-related nutritional policies. They provide estimates of how food consumption is affected by changes in prices, income, and taxation policies (Dunne and Edkins, 2005). Food consump-tion in Nigeria has been an important issue, not only because it is related to poverty and food security, but also because it is highly correlated with living standards and household resource. Essentially, the demand for food depends on population and the dietary habits/per capita daily calorie intake of the people under consideration. On the other hand, the food requirement of the nation is dependent on an additional factor namely; food import and export balance. On the national level, per-capita growth of production of major foods in Nigeria has not been sufficient to satisfy the demands of an increasing population (Kormawa, 1999). The result is a big gap between national supply and national demand for food. Malnutrition is still widespread and eloquently manifested in the high levels of severe and moderate underweight among children coupled with the high rates of infant and under-five mortality and low life expectancy at birth (Maziya-Dixon et al., 2004; UNDP, 2005). Household food consumption pattern in Nigeria has been undergoing dramatic changes over the last few years. There has been an increase in the consumption of carbohydrate foods like yam, cassava, maize and rice and some decrease in the consumption of such food items as fish, fresh fruits, as well as fresh and processed vegetables. Average calorie and protein intake by Nigerians is only at the threshold of adequacy. The daily per capital calorie supply as a proportion of requirement was 90% in 1988-1990 and 85% between 1992-1996 (FOS, 1999). Accor ding to FAO (1999), Nigeria managed to reduce the prevalence of undernourishment by more than 30% points between 1979- 1981 and 1996-1998. The number dropped from 44% to 8%. The depth of hunger in Nigeria remains 210 Kcal per person per day while the diet comprised of 64% cereals and roots and tubers. Understanding household food consumption pattern in the North-Central zone is therefore very important for market assessment of agricultural products as well as household food security.
STATEMENT OF THE GENERAL PROBLEM
The economic recession which has significantly affected all sectors of the economy especially the agricultural has affected the feeding pattern of the Nigerian masses. the poor feeding pattern of Nigerians has had its toll on the level of productivity of the masses as it is often said that a hungry man is an angry man thus the cases of crime and social vices that has been on the increase in these recession.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine the effect of consumption of basic food items in Nigeria. Other specific objectives of the study include;
H0: There is no significant effect of consumption of food items on consumers
H1: There is a significant effect of consumption of food items on consumers
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study would be of immense importance to the general public as it would reveal the effect of consumption of basic food items in Nigeria. The study would also be of immense importance to students, researchers and scholars who are interested in developing further studies on the subject matter.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to the effect of consumption of basic food items in Akure metropolis in Ondo state.