Nearly all (98%) Filipinos nationwide believe that it is important for the government to provide information on proper nutrition and diet, says Pulse Asia’s December 2019 Ulat ng Bayan Survey Report. The survey further revealed that 97% of Filipinos believed that it is important for government to address malnutrition.

The NNC-commissioned survey aimed to determine the recall of nutrition messages among Filipinos. The results showed that among the messages recalled were the 10 Kumainments or the popularized version of the Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos.  The campaign was launched in 2014 and after 5 years, a fairly high recall as one in five Filipinos (20%) say that they have read, heard or watched something about the 10 Kumainments. Of the 10 messages in the 10 Kumainments, 80% of the respondents who were aware of the 10 Kumainments recalled the message on “eating fruits and vegetables”.

But is not only important for Filipinos to recall nutrition messages. The knowledge should be translated into adoption of positive nutrition behaviors.  The same respondents were asked which of the Kumainment messages that were recalled were actually applied in their daily lives, nearly 7 in 10 (69.1%) said that they practiced eating vegetables and fruits.

The same survey revealed that 95% of Filipinos are aware of the NNC and when it comes to its performance appraisal, the NNC received 67% approval rating. The NNC remains steadfast to its mandate to effectively implement nutrition interventions under the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) which layouts the country’s priority actions to reduce various forms of malnutrition including undernutrition, overnutrition and diet-related non-communicable diseases.

The NNC will continue to utilize multimedia platforms in disseminating information as the previously mentioned survey report revealed that television, radio and social media are the major sources of information on nutrition and diet. Specifically, television and social media are able to reach the population from Metro Manila and other urban areas. Radio, on the other hand, is the best medium to deliver information to rural areas specifically in Visayas and Mindanao. Other than multimedia channels, friends and acquaintances, health workers such as doctors, midwives and barangay nutrition scholars, DOH and NNC were identified as other major sources of information on nutrition and diet.

Findings of the recall survey will be used to enhance the PPAN’s National Nutrition Promotion for Behavior Change Program which focuses on the interplay of interpersonal and community communications, mass media and social media to facilitate the adoption of positive nutrition practices.  (Katherine Villanueva)