July is celebrated yearly as Nutrition Month by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 491, or also known as Nutrition Act of the Philippines, legislated in 1974. The annual celebration intends to raise awareness among the Filipino people on the importance of proper nutrition.
With this year’s theme “Pagkain ng gulay ugaliin, araw-araw itong ihain,” the Department of Education released a memorandum that encourages all schools to celebrate Nutrition Month by means of simultaneous planting of vegetables, which serves as its share in promoting the consumption of vegetables among children as part of a healthy diet.
Around the country, various programs are being held in the form of forums, seminars, and even cooking contests.
But not only is nutrition important among children, even companies and other organizations can benefit a lot from it, too.
Rman Nepomuceno Lorenzo, co-owner of Sugarleaf, a company that promotes proper nutrition and natural and organic eating, explained that proper nutrition is “a strong armor against health risks… it is not just a security but a guarantee of being healthy and happy… it is not a one-time deal for the sake of being sexy and fit.”
He also said that proper nutrition makes healthy employees, which also means increased productivity and quality of work in the company. Work-life-efficiency balance should focus on health and wellness. And that having a healthy work force is a factor in staying competitive in continuously evolving markets.
He stressed that every organization envisions a business goal in terms of financial returns. But the company and its stakeholders are at risk if health considerations of their workforce are not given any attention. “[Health] insurance is a must to protect their employees in case of health risk,” he said.
As governed by Philippine laws, 10 to 20 percent of overhead expenses of small employers are to be allocated to employee benefits including health. Meanwhile, a large company spends almost 20 t0 40% in terms of benefits, of which majority goes to health.
Investing to promote proper nutrition is similar to adapting corporate social responsibility, but the main focus is its own workforce, compared Lorenzo. He said that it can be viewed “as an investment to their people and not an operational expense. It is long term and it is vital to the effectiveness of their employees.”
Further, he said that “the investment is already there. It is just a matter of having a review on where exactly it should be used to build a healthy organization. The organization probably needs to reconstitute their policies and focus on their employee’s health and wellness aiming for a work-life-effectiveness.”
Lorenzo enumerated suggestions for companies in promoting good health to their employees, “Promotion through trainings and tie ups with industry whose area of strength is healthy and wellness. Programs that will introduce the organization on proper eating and type of foods that will help them achieve a state of good health. Wellness programs that introduce physical well being with proper exercise, eating habits, detoxification, and all other activities that is preventive and not curative.” He also advised that such campaigns should be extended to the employees’ families.
After all, proper nutrition is also everyone’s concern.