The National Nutrition Council in Region VII (NNC-7) reported a slight decrease in the percentage of underweight children in Central Visayas.
Dr. Parolita Mission, regional nutrition program coordinator of NNC-7, disclosed that there is a .31 percent decrease in 2016 compared to the previous year.
Based on their 2016 Operation Timbang (OPT) Plus, NNC-7’s data showed that the percentage of underweight children in the region in 2016 was at 4.6 percent compared to the 4.91 percent in 2015.
OPT Plus is an annual weighing and height measurement of all pre-schools aged 0-59 months or below 5 years old in a community to identify and locate malnourished children. Data generated through OPT Plus are used for local nutrition action planning particularly in quantifying the number of malnourished children and identify who will be given priority interventions in the community.
Among the four provinces in the region, Cebu province still ranked first in under-nutrition with 6.21 percent or six out of 100 pre-school children are under nourished. This is followed by Negros Oriental with 5.84 percent and third spot is Siquijor at 4.46 percent while Bohol recorded 3.97 percent.
Mission cited the lack of caring practices, habits of individuals, insufficiency of food, and unavailability of health facilities as some of the reasons of malnutrition.
Healthy Diet Campaign
In order to address this, the Regional Nutrition Committee together with the different local nutrition committees is set to launch a campaign region-wide for healthy diet consistent with the principle of moderation, variety and balance in food choices of school canteens, hospital cafeterias, and other food establishments here.
This is part of their observance of the 43rd Nutrition Month celebration in July.
NNC-7 believes that the core to one’s good health is a healthy diet.
In order to achieve a healthy diet, they are encouraging mothers to breastfeed their newborn babies.
They are also encouraging parents to have their children eat variety of foods and plenty of vegetable and fruits.
They are reminding the public to eat moderate amounts of fats and oil and eat foods with less salt and sugars.
These recommendations are reiterated by NNC through its 10 Kumainments campaign and the Pinggang Pinoy, which shows the right amount and portion that you need to consume. (fcr/ Gwen Gaviola, UP-Cebu intern/PIA7)