38th Nutrition Month celebration to focus on vegetables

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 06:47 AM    Views : 2049by:Flordelis E. Jackson

"The 38th Nutrition Month celebration in July this year will focus on vegetables," said Carina Santiago, Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator Region 8 during the Regional Nutrition Month 2012 Stakeholders Meeting held recently held at the Regional Development Council (RDC) conference room of the National Economic Development Authority Regional Office No. 8 at the Government Center in Candahug, Palo, Leyte.

She said that vegetables are given importance as the entire nation celebrates Nutrition Month this year because it has been observed that Filipinos these days are eating less and less vegetables.

"Based on the food consumption surveys that were conducted, Filipinos on the average eat less vegetables per day in the last three decades," she said.

From 145 grams per day of vegetables in 1978, consumption went down to 110 grams per day in the year 2008.

For her part, Segundina Devota Dilao, Nutrition Officer of the National Nutrition Council Region 8, who presented the Nutrition Month talking points during the Nutrition Month stakeholders meeting, said that across the country, consumption of vegetables vary between regions.

She said that CALABARZON and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) had the lowest consumption of vegetables at 92 grams per person per day while the Cordillera Autonomous Region had the highest vegetable consumption at 169 grams.

Eastern Visayas (Region 8) had 105 grams per person per day consumption of vegetables.

Dilao mentioned some reasons for the low consumption of vegetables for the last three years, which include influence of family members who do not eat vegetables, dislike for vegetables because of the taste and texture, preference for meat than vegetables, vegetables require more time to prepare and lack of knowledge on the nutritional and health benefits of vegetables, among others.

She urged everyone present during the meeting, especially the members of the Harmonized Initiatives for the Spread of Good Nutrition in Region 8, to disseminate the information on the advantages of eating vegetables everyday.

She emphasized that having vegetables as part of a healthy diet can help prevent major non-communicable diseases.

Approximately 1.7 million deaths worldwide are attributed to low fruit and vegetable consumption.

This year's celebration of the 38th Nutrition Month in July 2012 is anchored on the theme "Pagkain ng gulay ugaliin, araw-araw itong ihain."

The World Health Organization recommends eating a minimum of 400 grams of vegetables and fruits everyday, which is equivalent to five servings per day with three servings of vegetables per day.


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