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FINAL NM 2017 LOGOTACLOBAN CITY -- A healthy diet refers to consumption of foods consistent with three principles of nutrition: balance, variety and moderation. Balance meaning foods coming from different food groups (go, grow, glow) in proportion to each other; Variety refers to different kinds of foods from different food groups every day; and Moderation means the right proportions intake as to what the body needs  only, not too little and not too much.
Eating a variety of food is essential as no single food provides all the nutrients in proper amount needed by the body, therefore a wide selection of food is vital to obtaining good nutrition and healthy body.

Dr. Catalino P. Dotollo, Jr., Regional Nutrition Program coordinator of National Nutrition Council Region 8 (NNC-8), rationalized these in a thematic talk during the regional launch of 43rd Nutrition Month celebration, here on July 4, this year.

This year's Nutrition Month carries the theme: "Healthy diet, gawin habit: FOR LIFE", which focuses on promotion of healthy diets. The campaign  aims to increase awareness on the importance of healthy diets as protection from both under and over nutrition  (double burden of malnutrition) and non-communicable diseases such as hypertention, diabetes, cardio-vascular diseases and certain types of cancer.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, a healthy diet: includes a variety of foods from different food groups; which meets the individual needs for calories and nutrients; safe with no risk from toxins, bacteria, mold or chemicals; enjoyable and culturally acceptable; and available and sufficient each day and all year round.

A healthy diet also provides just enough amounts of energy needed for one's daily activities without going beyond his/her caloric needs so as to maintain a fit body weight. Energy requirements differ from person to person and energy provided by a healthy diet should be balanced with one's energy used. 

For Filipinos the recommended energy intakes per day for different age groups and physiologic conditions are: For children 3-5 years - Energy (kcal) male 1350, female 1260; 6-9 years - male 1600, female 1470; 10-12 years - male 2060, female 1980; 13-15 years - male 2700, female 2170; and 16-18 years - male 3010, female 2280.

For adults 19-29 years - male 2530, female 1930; 30-59 years - male 2420, female 1870; and 60-69 years - male 2140, female 1610. For pregnant women an addition of 300 calories and for lactating women an addition of 500 calories are recommended. (Jack C. Gadaingan)