The National Nutrition Council (NNC) region 10 spearheaded a regional forum on healthy diet on 31 July 2017 in Cagayan de Oro City to discuss with various sectors the importance of healthy diet to avoid non-communicable diseases.
Princess Christine Tababa, nutrition officer II of NNC region 10 explained that being healthy does not mean spending much. It means making use of what’s available in your area and eating fruits and vegetables that are home grown which is cheaper than instant or fast food.
On the other hand, Shiella Rose Balbandia, nutrition-dietician of Department of Education (DepEd) region 10 shared that DepEd has issued DepEd Order (DO) 13, s. 2017 – Policy and Guidelines on Healthy Food and Beverage Choices in Schools and in DepEd Offices to promote and develop healthy eating habits among the youth and DepEd employees by making available healthy, nutritious, and affordable menu choices, and for setting food standards.
Balbanida explained that they will categorize food sold in the canteen based on nutritional content. If the food is too fatty, has saturated fat or has too much sodium, then they cannot be sold in school canteens. She said they will issue standards once all canteen personnel including health officer of the school will be informed about this policy.
Meanwhile, Dr. Myra Luminarias, medical officer of Department of Health (DOH) region 10 shared that the goal of the nutrition program of the government is to reduce the prevalence of lifestyle diseases especially cardio-vascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma and thyroid disease.
She explained that people can reduce prevalence of major risk factors especially in smoking, physical inactivity and unhealthy diet and nutrition through changing to healthy lifestyle.
Luminarias added that this is crucial now since there is a shift in causes of death and disability from infectious to non-communicable diseases. This is a burden to health, economy, social mortality, morbidity and poor quality of life, she explained.
Key messages right now would be anti-smoking, healthy diet, physical exercise, regular health check-up and manage stress. (JMOR/PIA10)