ILOILO – Over 300 underweight students of Mandurriao National High School were fed with nutritious food and given folic acid and de-worming tablets yesterday.
It was the National Nutrition Council’s (NNC) way of kicking off the observance of July as Nutrition Month in coordination with the Department of Education (DepEd) and Department of Health (DOH).
This year’s Nutrition Month theme is “Kumain nang wasto at maging aktibo…push natin ‘to!”
According to Regional Nutrition Program coordinator Nona Tad-y, Mandurriao National High School was chosen for the Nutrition Month kickoff because “adlaw-adlaw may cases sila mga kabataan nagakalipong, nagasakit ang ulo.”
This Nutrition Month, the NNC also wants to address concerns on obesity and overweightness.
“Ang data nagapakita nga madamo sang adolescents ang overweight and obese,” said Tad-y.
Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health.
According to Tad-y, the NCC supports DepEd’s promotion of nutritious food in school canteens (Department Order No. 13, Series of 2017 or “Policy and Guidelines on Healthy Food and Beverage Choices in Schools and in DepEd Offices”).
The department order is a detailed guideline promoting healthy eating habits among young learners by restricting the school marketing, sale and consumption of food and beverage that are too fatty, too sweet or too salty.
It specifically enumerates healthier food and beverage choices, and introduces a system of categorizing locally available food and drinks (red, yellow and green categories).
Those listed in the green category should always be available in school canteens. Those classified as yellow should be served carefully, and those categorized as red are not recommended in the canteen menu.
Examples of food and drinks in the green category listed in the DepEd Order were: unsweetened milk, safe and clean water, fresh buko water, rice, corn, whole wheat bread, cassava, boiled sweet potato, boiled saba, boiled peanuts, suman, puto, fishes, shellfish, small shrimps, lean meats, chicken without skin, nuts, eggs and fresh fruits in season.
Among the food and drinks in the yellow category were: 100 percent fresh fruit juices, fried rice, bread, biscuits, banana cue, camote cue, turon, maruya, pancakes, waffles, champorado, pancit, arroz caldo, sandwiches, processed foods (subject to evaluation of saturated or transfat and sodium content), stir-friend vegetables.
On the other hand, examples of food and drinks in the red category under DO No. 13 were: soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, sports waters, sports drinks, flavored mineral water, energy drinks, sweetened waters, powdered juice drinks, any products containing caffeine, any processed fruit/vegetable juice with added sugar of more than 20 grams or 4 teaspoons per serving, any jelly, ice crushes and slushies, any ice cream, ice drops and ice candies, cakes and slices, donuts, sweet biscuits and pastries, chocolates, hard/chewy candies, chewing gums, marshmallows, lollipops, yema, French fries, bicho-bicho, instant noodles, all types of heavily salted snacks such as chips or chichiria, chicharon, chicken skin, bacon, deep-friend foods including fish balls and kikiams, canned fruits in heavy syrup, sweetened fruits, deep-fried vegetables./PN