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2022 Food SafetySamboan, Cebu - To reduce cases of foodborne illness in the country, food safety is of utmost importance. In the Philippines, there are thousands of cases of foodborne illness each year, and many of these cases are related to problems with food safety. The most important aspects of food safety that need to be understood and practiced include controlling time and temperature, storing food, and preventing food contamination. Food handlers need to be aware of these elements and their impact on food safety, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic's changes to food preparation.

Harmful pathogens require a specific time and temperature to grow and cause food-borne illnesses in humans. Pathogens thrive in the Temperature Danger Zone, which ranges from 5°C to 60°C. It is critical to ensure that food does not exceed the stated temperatures, especially for high-risk foods, to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and foodborne illnesses. According to the 2 Hour / 4 Hour rule, high-risk foods must be used or discarded after storing food. A proper and timely manner of storing food is essential for food safety.

2022 Fruits to PlantDumanjug, Cebu - You don't need an orchard to grow fruits at home. You just need to determine the kind that can grow best in your place. If you live in the Philippines, here is a list of the best fruits to grow.

1. Mangoes. The mangoes are growing throughout the country. The Philippines has a tropical climate which it suits to grow mangoes. The climate helps a lot because this fruit tree needs more sunlight and because of that sunlight it grows well.

2. Banana. Growing this fruit would be easy. You just need to get a small banana tree and then plant it on the ground. The higher your soil the better it will bear fruits. As you may have noticed, banana trees do not bear fruit when planted on flat ground. But like a small mound, applying more soil will support more bananas.

2022 CeVANAO LHEARNTalibon, Bohol - The Learning Hub for Enhanced and Revitalized Nutrition (LHEARN) project of Central Visayas started with the officials of the Central Visayas Association of Nutrition Action Officers (CeVANAO), Inc. as its first mentee. They were warmly welcomed by the Talibon Municipal Nutrition Committee (MNC) headed by Mayor Janette A. Garcia with MNPC Ms. Jacquilene F. Casiple as secretariat. The Special LHEARN for Nutrition Action Officers (NAOs) was held on 17-18 November 2022 in the municipality of Talibon with Barangay Sikatuna and San Carlos as program sites.

The Regional Nutrition Committee has hand-picked the officers and members of CeVANAO, Inc. to be the first learners of the LHEARN area. Nutrition Action Officers (NAOs) are the alter ego of their local chief executives in managing the nutrition program. They ensure the functionality of local nutrition committees and are responsible for creating an enabling environment for the participation and engagement of the different sectors in their localities to contribute to the achievement of nutrition outcomes in their areas of coverage. Hence, their knowledge and skills in local nutrition program management and experiences in managing the nutrition program need to be enhanced and upgraded regularly to respond to the changes in the environment. Thus, they are to be prioritized in the learning modality.

The Municipality of Talibon is the region’s first LHEARN area being one of the Region’s Nutrition Honor Awardees and trained LHEARN Mentor LGU. The municipality gained its Nutrition Honor Award in 2004 and in 2021 its Mayor, Hon. Janet A. Garcia was hailed as one of the region’s nutrition champions.

2022 NAO Fad DietsCebu City – Practicing Nutritionist - Dietitian II, Ms. Nilda R. Benolirao of Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center reminded Nutrition Action Officers to avoid fad diets. She gave this reminder in her talk during the 17th Regional Congress of Nutrition Action Officers held on 16 September 2022 at Galleria Summit Hotel, Cebu City.

In her lecture titled “Fad Diets, Challenge Nutrition Goals for the New Normal”, she shared that around 800 million people in the world are living with obesity while in the Philippines, almost 27 million Filipinos are overweight and obese. Considering the causes of obesity are complex that goes far beyond diet and physical activity, some factors to be considered like environmental, genetic & medical conditions like thyroid problem, a problem during menstruation, individuals taking medications for diabetes, antipsychotic drugs, anti-depressant, emotional problems, poor sleep, and stress that eventually will lead to non-communicable diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, and many others. According to her, as a consequence of the effect of peer pressure and the effect of media on body image and self-esteem, people are more susceptible to adopting various fad diets that claim to aid in losing weight fast.

Her discussion focused on identifying fad diets, gaining knowledge on the advantages and disadvantages of fad diets, and creating goals for the prevention of overweight and obesity.

2022 HowMuchCoffeeIsSafeSamboan, Cebu - Do you start your day with a cup of coffee or tea in the hopes that the caffeine will get you going? Do you have one or two more caffeinated drinks after it and then continue to have coffee throughout the day?

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), healthy adults should consume 400 mg of caffeine each day, or about as much as 10 cans of cola or four cups of brewed coffee. Remember that different drinks have different amounts of caffeine, especially in energy drinks where the amount is typically not dangerous or harmful.

People are frequently more prone to the effects of coffee and other substances under certain medical conditions. Additionally, the regulatory body advises discussing whether you need to limit your caffeine intake with your healthcare practitioner if you're pregnant, attempting to get pregnant, breastfeeding, worried about another condition, or taking any medications.

2022 SweetPotatoBarili, Cebu - Versatile and nutritious, sweet potatoes pack ample amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, and manganese in each serving. It also has anti-cancer properties and may benefit immune function, gut health, brain function, and eye health.

Here are 6 surprising health benefits of sweet potatoes:

1. Highly nutritious
Sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. In addition, sweet potatoes especially the orange and purple varieties are rich in antioxidants that protect your body from free radicals.