Local Health News
Fighting Malnutrition In The Philippines
Condensed by L.D. Ramirez (sourced from a CNN Philippines article by Isabella Montano and Pia Garcia)
Many children, including those in poor communities, may have access to food, but they're not eating right because parents lack basic knowledge on proper nutrition.
BILLIONS LOST TO MALNUTRITION
A September 2016 report by international non-profit organization Save the Children reveals that the Philippines lost PHP 328 billion in 2013 alone due to the effects of malnutrition - almost 3 percent of the year's general gross domestic product (GDP).
Children who were stunted in the first two years of their lives would tend to repeat grade levels and / or drop out of school. Once these children hit adulthood and become members of the workforce, they were more likely to have lower income levels.
In addition, child deaths caused by malnutrition also result in a loss of income for both the family and the country.
Because of this, the National Nutrition Council (NNC) is launching an action plan for nutrition. It's currently seeking commitments from partners and stakeholders, especially local government units, to provide support services to the public.
NUTRITION - EATING THE RIGHT AMOUNT AND VARIETY OF FOOD
The NNC is currently running awareness campaigns via village, town, and city nutrition staff to educate parents on how to feed their kids properly.
Malnutrition isn't limited to those who live in extreme poverty, says government nutritionist Joann Espiritu. Many children, including those in poor communities, may have access to food, but they're not eating right because parents lack basic knowledge on proper nutrition.
Long-term effects of malnutrition include delayed height and weight gain, plus sub-optimal brain and motor development - all of which negatively affect a child's learning ability.
To prevent malnutrition, children's meals should always have balanced helpings of 4 things: carbohydrates, protein, vegetables, and fruit.
Proactive parents who placed their faith in the NNC recommended diet plans have observed that their kids have become livelier.