Cebu News

NNC already prepping for Nutrition Month in July

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The National Nutrition Council (NNC) is already gearing up for the 50th celebration of Nutrition Month in July, which differs from all previous years as it focuses on the national nutrition plan as the framework for nutrition action by stakeholders.

According to NNC, it has approved the theme for Nutrition Month this July, which will be “Sa PPAN: Sama-sama sa Nutrisyong Sapat Para sa Lahat!”

In a statement, NNC-7 said that in this important milestone of the campaign, this year’s theme differs from all the themes over the years since the structure for future programs of stakeholders will center on the national nutrition plan.

Previous nutrition month themes have focused on specific nutritional problems or the role of nutrition in development.

The selection of the theme, NNC-7 said, is in response to finding out that the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) has low awareness, especially at the barangay level.

 “Being a new plan, anchored on a theory of change, the PPAN needs to be well disseminated at all levels,” NNC-7’s statement said.

By calling for collective action in implementing the PPAN, NNC-7 said all forms of malnutrition are targeted with the end goal of ensuring nutrition security for all Filipinos.

On the other hand, the theme is also similar with previous years’ theme as its’ call to action is directed to all stakeholders. NNC stressed that this is necessary since improving nutrition requires action from all sectors.

Further, while the celebration of Nutrition Month is an already popular activity in local government units, the campaign calls for the full adoption of the PPAN in local nutrition action plans.

NNC noted that the PPAN 2023-2028 is an ambitious plan as it targets substantive improvements in the so-called triple burden of malnutrition, which is consistent with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in ending hunger and eliminating all forms of malnutrition.

The NNC stressed on the importance of addressed malnutrition as it is stunted in early life, which affects 26.6 percent of children below 5 years old and has adverse functional consequences, including poor cognition and educational performance, low adult wages, lost productivity, and when accompanied by excessive weight gain later in childhood, an increased risk of nutrition-related chronic diseases in adult life.

On the other hand, NNC said that overweight and obesity has increased across all age groups.

The 2021 Expanded National Nutrition Survey (ENNS) of DOST-FNRI shows that 14 percent of children 5 to 10 years old are overweight or obese, as well as in 13 percent of individuals 10 to 19 years old, and 40.2 percent of adults.

Apart from which, micronutrient deficiencies, particularly the lack of iron, iodine and vitamin A, also affect the population, including in pregnant and lactating women and children.  Along with malnutrition, food insecurity also affects 33.4 percent of Filipino households or 3 in every 10 households have moderate or severe food insecurity.

With this, the PPAN 2023-2028 hopes to improve nutrition across all the life stages through strategies, such as improving consumption of healthier diets, adopting positive nutrition practices, and increasing access to quality nutrition services and enabling mechanisms.

To achieve this, the PPAN includes interventions such as nutrition specific services to address the direct causes of malnutrition and, to address underlying causes of malnutrition such as food insecurity and poverty.

The celebration of the Nutrition Month also hopes to increase awareness and generate participation and commitments for increased support for the PPAN among stakeholders from government, local government units, non-government organizations, business, civil society and communities.

With the announcement of Nutrition Month theme, the NNC calls on all stakeholders to embrace the theme of “Sa PPAN: Sama-sama sa Nutrisyong Sapat Para sa Lahat” and actively participate in Nutrition Month come July. (CEBU NEWS)

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