National Nutrition Council (NNC) is intensifying its calls to make healthy food choices more affordable and accessible to Central Luzon residents.
This is in line with the celebration of this year’s Nutrition Month that goes with the theme “Healthy Diet, Gawing Affordable for All!”
NNC Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator Ana Maria Rosaldo shared that among the nutrition issues faced by the region is food security, which is affected by uneven food prices, insufficient income, food access, and unemployment.
“Records from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that a significant portion of Filipinos are struggling to have a healthy diet. The agency reported that the cost of a healthy diet is P242.53 per person per day,” she stressed.
With this, Rosaldo urged members of the Central Luzon Regional Nutrition Committee and the public to participate in the nutrition month celebration in order to scale up interventions on ensuring food security and proper nutrition through production and effective supply management.
Among the initiatives that the public can do, according to NNC, include exclusive breastfeeding for infants under six months and continuing breastfeeding up to two years with appropriate complementary feeding; consuming fresh foods and limiting processed foods in one’s diet; establishing home and community gardens; and supporting local farmers by buying their produce.
“Here in Region 3, we will lead a tree-planting activity in support of Nutrition Month. NNC 3 acknowledges that environmental actions and agricultural investments such as this are crucial to protect the environment, increase productivity, and reinforce sustainable food systems necessary to alleviate hunger,” Rosaldo said.
For her part, Department of Health Regional Director Corazon Flores said the agency is one with NNC in its advocacy to enhance nutrition by improving access to sustainable healthy diet for all people in Central Luzon.
“Health is very important. When a person is healthy, the person will be capable to do whatever it is that he or she is able; and a healthy person should have a healthy diet. That is why this Nutrition Month, may we be reminded that proper nutrition plays an important factor on our well-being. May this celebration provide an opportunity for us to reflect on our eating habits,” she urged.
Flores reiterated that being healthy is something that needs to be instilled in the mind of every Filipino.
“Good nutrition is related to improved health outcomes. If we are healthy and we have proper nutrition, we can reduce infant and maternal mortality; prevent stunting, wasting, and other forms of malnutrition,” the director said.
Meanwhile, she also urged stakeholders to strengthen collaboration on food affordability.
There is also a need to raise awareness on reducing vulnerability and protecting the purchasing power of Filipinos by expanding access of consumers to affordable, safe, and nutritious food and attainment of stable supply of food and commodities, which would help achieve healthy and resilient communities. (CLJD/MJSC-PIA 3)