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Joint action needed in safeguarding nutrition-APHO

SAN JOSE, Antique (PIA) -- The joint action of all health stakeholders is crucial to fight malnutrition and ensure sufficient and nutritious food in every Filipino household.

This was stressed by Nutritionist-Dietician Jocelyn Morano from the Antique Provincial Health Office (APHO) in a radio program on July 12.

Morano said that efforts in safeguarding nutrition among Filipinos are not the sole responsibility of the health sector but of all relevant sectors in the society that need to closely work together, especially in achieving the aspirations of Nutrition Month observed every July.

This year, Nutrition Month carries the theme, “Healthy Diet Gawing Affordable For All,” which seeks to support all efforts that give Filipinos greater access to healthy, safe, and affordable food.

Morano believes that good nutrition for Filipinos will be achieved with adequate agricultural produce, affordable basic commodities, employment or livelihood for parents and guardians, and extensive and sustained nutrition programs.

She also highlighted the need for the active participation of and strong collaboration among concerned government agencies, non-government organizations (NGOs), civil society organizations (CSOs), and private partners.

In Antique, as of the latest data, 9.83 percent of pre-school children (PSC) are stunted or too short for their age, 2.11 percent are wasted or having low weight for their height, and 5.91 percent are underweight.

Stunting, wasting, and underweight are forms of malnutrition that need to be addressed, hence, the call of health authorities to follow the “Pinggang Pinoy,” a guide in filling up a plate with the right food group proportions per meal.

Pinggang Pinoy comprises 17 percent fruits, 33 percent vegetables, 33 percent carbohydrate-rich foods, and 17 percent protein.

While regular feeding programs of the government are carried out in pre-schools, Morano reminded parents and guardians of the importance of giving breakfast to children before sending them to school and making sure they get at least three meals a day.

She also enjoined the public to practice gardening and backyard planting of fruits and vegetables as a free source of healthy and nutrient-rich foods, as she warned of the health risks of fast food and unhealthy diet such as soda, sweets, and junk food. (AGP/BPS/PIA Antique/Photo courtesy of the National Nutrition Council)

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Bernard Ceasar Susbilla

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Region 6

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