Cordillera kids still undernourished

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

INDIGENOUS food could help address malnutrition.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development-CAR and the National Nutrition Council (NNC) are promoting the consumption of indigenous food and other local products, especially to children to help curb malnutrition.

According to NNC, CAR's problems on undernutrition still persist, thus the continuing campaign to ensure proper nourishment.


DSWD-CAR nutritionist and dietician Marcia Espinueva said they encourage parents to feed their children with indigenous and local products instead of foreign ones because they could be more nutritious.

She implied there may be a danger in taking in foreign products because it is not certain where they came from.

They also continue to discourage the selling of junk food, which are unhealthy because of some additives.

"We want our children to appreciate yung sariling atin," Espinueva said.

The promotion of local products also empowers the small farmers and boosts the economy of the region.

The DSWD partnered with the Department of Agriculture in campaigning for organic farming and backyard gardening for the region to be sustainable in the production of local goods.

Espinueva shared the DSWD regional office and the Benguet State University will sign a Memorandum of Agreement for the procurement of culturally accepted food products developed by the BSU experts.

The DSWD is closely coordinated with the Department of Education for the continuous conduct of the Supplementary Feeding Program, which engages parents to properly nourish their children by serving nutritious foods.

Based on the 2013 Operation Timbang Plus Result of children aged 0-5 years old, 185,662 are normal; 7,836 are underweight; 1,971 are severely underweight; and 1,434 are overweight.

For school year 2013-2014, the Baseline Nutritional Status of School Children provides that 1 percent of elementary students are severely wasted; 4.26 percent are wasted; 1.43 percent are overweight; and 0.30 percent are obese.

In the secondary level, 1.34 percent are severely wasted; 4.45 percent are wasted; 1.12 percent are overweight; and 0.27 percent are obese.
The data came from the Department of Education.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 14, 2014.

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