The Nutrition Month, celebrated annually in July, has this year’s theme, “Gutom at malnutrisyon, sama-sama nating wakasan!”
Said theme aims to emphasize the need to lessen hunger and malnutrition through the concerted efforts of several stakeholders in the country. Its objectives are to increase awareness on hunger issues and actions to mitigate hunger and malnutrition, to encourage stakeholders to contribute in addressing hunger issues, and to advocate for stronger political action to end hunger.
The celebration’s focus on hunger is said to be in part of the country’s commitment to the United Nations Millennium Development Goal, particularly Goal 1 which is the eradication of extreme hunger and poverty.
To continually inform the public, the Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos (NGF) were said to have been revised by an inter-agency and multi-disciplinary technical working group organized by the Food and Nutrition Researc h Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST). It was then approved on October 31, 2012 by the National Nutrition Council (NNC) Governing Board through Resolution Number 6, Series of 2012.
The NNC of the Department of Health is the highest policy-making and coordinating body on nutrition in the country, while the FNRI-DOST is the lead agency of the government in terms of food and nutrition research and development.
Based on the official website of the Department of Science and Technology, the guidelines on nutrition are the following:
- Eat a variety of foods everyday to get the nutrients needed by the body.
- Breastfeed infants exclusively from birth up to six months, then give appropriate complementary foods while continuing breastfeeding for two years and beyond for optimum growth and development.
- Attain normal body weight through proper diet and moderate physical activity to maintain good health and prevent obesity.
- Consume fish, lean meat, poultry, egg, dried beans or nuts daily for growth and repair of body tissues.
- Eat more vegetables and fruits everyday to get the essential vitamins, minerals and fiber for regulation of body processes.
- Limit intake of salty, fried, fatty and sugar-rich foods to prevent cardiovascular diseases.
- Consume milk, milk products, and other calcium-rich foods, such as small fish and shellfish, everyday for healthy bones and teeth.
- Use iodized salt to prevent Iodine Deficiency Disorders.
- Consume safe foods and water to prevent diarrhea and other food- and water-borne diseases.
- Be physically active, make healthy food choices, manage stress, avoid alcoholic beverages and do not smoke to help prevent lifestyle-related non-communicable diseases.