TACLOBAN CITY- Concerned by rising cases of lifestyle diseases, the Department of Health (DOH) and National Nutrition Council (NNC) has emphasized the value of proper diet and more active physical activities for better health.
On Friday(July 5), hundreds of government officials and representatives from the private sector gathered at the Leyte provincial capitol grounds here to join the advocacy meant for all ages.
Department of Health Eastern Regional Visayas Director Minerva Molon said the advent of technology and fast food craze have changed the dietary behavior and physical activities of Filipinos.
“The abundance of technology now available to most children discourages them from participating in more traditional physical activities needed to stay healthy. Most parents allow children to use gadgets to pacify them because they’re busy,” Molon said.
The DOH Region 8 chief also noted that people are more inclined to patronize fast food chains since it is readily available in just a few minutes.
She warned that food with high sugar, fat, or salt content and low nutrient value can cause non-communicable diseases, which are included in the top leading causes of sickness and deaths in the region.
NNC Regional Program Coordinator Catalino Dotollo said this year’s Nutrition Month theme aims to promote the consumption of healthy diets, increased physical activity, and reduced sedentary behavior through activities of daily living among individuals and families.
“The campaign encourages the food industry including farmers, manufacturers, distributors, and food establishments to produce and make available healthier food options. We will also advocate for the enactment of national and local legislation policies for workplaces, schools, and other venues that support an enabling environment healthy diets and physical activity,” Dotollo explained.
This year’s Nutrition Month activity is anchored on the theme “Kumain ng wasto at maging aktibo…push natin to!”
“The key messages of the month-long celebration are to have a one hour or more physical activity every day, reduce screen time to two hours or less each day, and eat the three food groups every day for variety,” Dotollo said.
Among the recommended activities for the Nutrition Month are to hang streamers or posters about the celebration; conducting seminars and other forums to discuss the theme; help promote and disseminate correct information on a healthy diet and physical activity through print, social media, TV, and radio programs.
Other suggested activities include the conduct of physical activities appropriate for the audience intended; participate in activities related to Nutrition Month celebration at the national, regional or local level; and conduct other activities that would highlight and promote a healthy diet and physical activity.
Nutrition Month is a yearly campaign held every July to create greater awareness among Filipinos on the importance of nutrition. Presidential Decree 491 or the Nutrition Act of the Philippines mandates the NNC to lead and coordinate the nationwide campaign.