NNC urges shift to healthy lifestyle to avoid non-communicable diseases

The National Nutrition Council (NNC) region 10 through Talakayan sa PIA on 12 July 2017 urged the young ones and even adults to change from fast food habits to healthy home-cooked meals diet.

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a healthy diet emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, root crops, fat-free or low fat milk, lean meats, poultry, fish, egg, beans and nuts. It is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium and added sugars.

Based on the national nutrition survey of FNRI-DOST, there has been a shift in the dietary pattern of Filipinos in terms of quality and quantity over the years. The typical diet consists mainly of cereals which are sources of carbohydrates. The consumption of meats, vegetables, milk and milk products and eggs has increased. However, there has been a decline in the consumption of starchy roots and tubers and fruits. Further, WHO recommends consumption of 400 grams of of fruits and vegetables per day. However, Filipinos only consume maximum of 249 grams of fruits and vegetables a day.

 

Meanwhile, in schools, Department of Education has issued Department Order No. 13 series of 2017 Policy and Guidelines on Healthy Food and Beverage Choices in schools and DepEd offices. This policy aims to make available healthier food and beverage choices among the learners and DepEd personnel and their stakeholders; provide guidance in evaluating and categorizing foods and drinks and provide guidance in the selling and marketing of foods and beverages in schools.

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Sheila Rose Balbanida, nutrition dietitian of Department of Education (DepEd) region 10 said that they are currently holding trainings for health officers, canteen managers and public school personnel to identify which food or food groups to be sold in school cafeterias. Right now, they have identified foods that are categorized as healthy and unhealthy for consumption.

According to Marissa Navales, regional nutrition coordinator that they are campaigning to increase awareness on the importance of healthy diets which protect against both under and over nutrition and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as hypertension, diabetes, cardio-vascular diseases and certain types of cancer.

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Unhealthy diet is composed of foods that are energy-dense yet nutrient poor and are high in saturated fats, trans-fats, refined carbohydrates or sodium. A diet low in fruits and vegetables or fiber is also characteristic of unhealthy diet. Meanwhile, this leads to poor nutrition and is one of the major risk factors for a range of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers, diabetes and other conditions linked to obesity.

NNC also encourages everyone to check the National Guidelines for Filipinos (NGF), Pinggang Pinoy and Nutritional Guide Pyramid to get a list of what to eat to become healthy through their website www.nnc.gov.ph.

The theme this year for national nutrition month is “Healthy diet, gawing habit – FOR LIFE!” (JMOR/PIA10)

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