NM article

Quezon City – “Batang Pinoy SANA TALL…Iwas stunting, SAMA ALL!” is the nutrition month theme this 2020 which creates awareness and calls for mobilization in addressing stunted growth. The theme is in line with the goal of Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) 2017-2022 to reduce the level of stunting among children under five (5) years old from 33.4% to 21.4% in 2022.

What is Stunting?

Stunting or “pagkabansot” is the most common form of malnutrition which relates to past state of nutrition. It is the impaired growth and development that children experience because of inadequate nutrition, repeated infections which results to poor nutrient intake, absorption and utilization, and inadequate opportunities to play and learn that lowers their psychosocial stimulation. It is an irreversible condition where a child cannot recover the height lost during his/her developmental stage. Stunted growth is indicated by short height-for-age or more than two standard deviations below the WHO Child Growth Standards. Based on the 2018 Expanded National Nutrition Survey of DOST-FNRI, there is a 30.3% prevalence of stunting among Filipino children under five (5) years old.  

Does stunting caused by genetics?

Most people believe that shortness in height is caused by genetics. Stunting begins in the womb not because of heredity, but due to poor nutrition. It is a continuous cycle from an undernourished mother giving birth to unhealthy child caused by inadequate nutrient intake and inappropriate child feeding practices which negatively affects the physical and mental development. Stunting in early life, especially in the first 1000 days, has negative consequences on the child’s growth. Child who suffers from this condition has poor cognitive abilities and low educational performance and grows up with decreased productivity and economical disadvantages. According to studies, stunted child has less brain connections and less brain mass than that of a normal child.

How can stunting be prevented?

We can have taller Filipino children in the next coming years through proper nutrition and care starting from conception up to birth. Programs, projects and activities like the First 1000 Days Program, will promote adequate intake of nutritious foods, appropriate infant and young child feeding practices, prevent and treat infections, provide opportunities for social interactions and health and nutrition services delivery among pregnant and young children. These services will help the child in achieving the full potential in growth and development.

What does Nutrition Month Theme say?

The 2020 Nutrition Month theme campaigns for “SANA ALL”  no more stunting among Filipino children, and calls for a collective action – “SAMA ALL” –  from all the sectors, enjoining the government agencies, non-government organizations, business, academe, communities and families in the prevention of stunted growth. (BLVMEstrella)



2018 Expanded National Nutrition Survey (Department of Science and Technology – Food and Nutrition Research Institute)

Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition 2017-2022

World Health Organization