TACLOBAN CITY – Flying the 2015 nutrition month theme: “Timbang Iwasto sa Tamang Nutrisyon at Ehersisyo” in every participating sector-banner, nutrition stakeholders of Eastern Visayas region conducted the launching rites for this year’s Nutrition Month celebration activities on July 3, 2015 at the capitol grounds here.
Dr. Carmen Garado of the Department of Health (DOH), Dr. Bella Ponferrada of UNICEF, Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator Catalino P. Dotollo Jr. of National Nutrition Council (NNC) Region 8, City Nutrition Action Officer Ma. Lumen P. Tabao of Tacloban City and Provincial Nutrition Action Officer Giovani Ed M. Napari of Leyte spearheaded the kickoff activities.
In tone with this year’s theme translated into English “Achieve Normal Weight Through Proper Nutrition and Physical Activities,” which intends to increase awareness on the role of nutrition and physical activity in preventing overweight and obesity, the kickoff activities involved more physical movements to emphasize the theme’s objectives.
The traditional motorcade was changed to a Walkathon along this city’s main thoroughfares from the provincial capitol grounds and back. This was followed by two rounds of Zumba dance—each round lasting 30 minutes. And a short program that was graced by Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico “Mic” L. Petilla, and ended with a distribution of information, education and communication (IEC) materials, seeds from the Department of Agriculture, and services from the respective booths of participating line agencies.
Dr. Dotollo in his messaged said, “The focus of our Nutrition Month celebration this year is to practice proper nutrition and physical activities to achieve the desired weight to avoid overweight and obesity that has already become a public health problem, not just in our country but globally!”
He explained, “Overweight and obesity increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and musculoskeletal disorders such as arthritis. Over nutrition also causes treats like hypertension, sleep apnea, breathing problems, liver and gall bladder diseases. Also overweight or obese women are exposed to increased risk to gynecological problems e.g. abnormal ovulation period and infertility.”
This year’s campaign under the bannered theme is to increase awareness on the role and importance of proper nutrition. This is why the National Nutrition Council has advocacies among which is the “10 Kumainments and Pinggang Pinoy”. That is how we value proper nutrition and physical activity in the prevention of overweight and obesity, Dotollo emphasized.
Another objective with this year’s theme also is to encourage Filipinos, especially the mothers and people at home to make a positive decision towards the consumption of healthy diets. This is pointed out as many are becoming dependent on the convenient ready-made foods from fast-foods and vendors. But buyers are really unaware if these foods are safe as well as the to their vitamins and minerals contents—compared to the house-prepared foods; also to become physically active to prevent non-communicable diseases as a result of overweight and obesity.
Number three is to encourage the community, the national government agencies, local government units and other stakeholders to put into place an enabling environment that will promote proper nutrition and physical activities among Filipinos to prevent overweight and obesity.
Dotollo made an example of the DoH that has a special order for employees to engage in physical movements every 4:00 PM. “I hope the other agencies of our government would follow suit in passing such enabling measure for an environment that permits the employees to engage in physical movement, even just for three times a week, or just every Thursday!” said the NNC-8 Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator.