DEPARTMENT of Education Memorandum No. 105, s. 2017 mandated all schools nationwide to celebrate the 2017 Nutrition Month. Nutrition Month is an annual campaign held every July to create greater awareness on the importance of nutrition among Filipinos. Presidential Decree 491 (1974) mandates the National Nutrition Council (NNC) to lead and coordinate the nationwide campaign.
According to the information drive found in NNC website, throughout the years, the Nutrition Month celebration has been institutionalized by schools and local government units as well as other stakeholders. In fact, this year is the 43rd Nutrition Month celebration.
The NNC Technical Committee decided that for 2017, the selected focus of the Nutrition Month campaign is on the promotion of healthy diets with the theme “Healthy diet, gawing habit - For Life!”
According to the info drive, a healthy diet, which is part of a healthy lifestyle, is the foundation of good health. It is a diet that is able to satisfy one’s energy and nutrient needs for proper body functions, growth and development, daily activities and maintenance of health, keeping well within one’s caloric needs. Hence, it takes into consideration both quality and quantity of food consumed by a person.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations reveals that a healthy diet includes a variety of foods from different food groups, meets the individual needs for calories and nutrients, is safe, with no risk from toxins, bacteria, mold or chemicals, is enjoyable and culturally acceptable and is available and sufficient each day and all year round.
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 also low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium and added sugars.
A healthy diet is also consistent with the following principles in nutrition: A. Balance - refers to consuming foods from different food groups in proportion to each other. B. Variety - refers to eating different kinds of food from the different food groups every day. C. Moderation- refers to eating the right proportions of food, that is, not consuming too much or too little as compared with what the body needs. Extremes in food consumption may lead to various repercussions.
NNC said that a healthy diet encompasses a wide range of benefits, with positive impacts on nutrition, overall health, economy as well as the environment. Promoting nutrition and health. One positive outcome of consuming healthy diets is good nutrition. Having healthy diets helps protect against under- and over-nutrition as well as certain NCDs such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, stroke and cancer.
On the other hand, poor nutrition as a consequence of an unhealthy diet can lead to reduced immunity, increased susceptibility to disease, impaired physical and mental development, and reduced productivity.
The effects of malnutrition could be long-term and could trap individuals and communities in the vicious cycle of poverty, which can eventually lead to a country's economic losses by causing impaired physical productivity, poor cognitive function, reduced school attainment, as well as increased health care costs. Nutritional status in different life stages may directly affect one's productivity by affecting physical status.
NNC concluded that improving nutrition contributes to productivity, economic development, and poverty reduction by improving physical work capacity, cognitive development, school performance, and health by reducing disease and mortality.
This Corner hopes that everyone shall give his share to promote healthy lifestyle to dissipate whatever threat of malnutrition especially to our children.
Director’s Cut: This portion features the thoughts of Atty. Alberto Escobarte, CESO IV, Regional Director, DepEd-Davao to all stakeholders and recipients of the efforts to improve the basic education). "Let me assure you that in the performance of my official duties and even my private acts will be guided and guarded by my Oath of Office, The Panunumpa ng Kawani ng Gobyerno, the Philippine Constitution and all the laws that govern our actions.”
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