BAGUIO CITY – The nutrition intake of an infant during his first one thousand days of life is the focus of the nutrition month celebration in July, with preparatory activities during the 6th Nutrition summit done at the Baguio Convention Center last week.
The first 270 days, counted from conception, and the next two years, are considered as “very critical” and a “golden window of opportunity,” according to Regional Nutrition Program Coordination, National Nutrition Council (NNC-CAR) Rita Papey.
Papey said good nutrition during the first 1000 days of life, with multi-sectoral support, assures a better quality of life. Maternal health is looked after, as well as the promotion of breastfeeding and appropriate supplementary feeding in the program. Studies show that early nutrition care results to better mental, social, emotional individual development; in contrast to those not subjected to carefully planned nutrition, resulting to faltering, stunting, poor health and susceptibility to infections.
Poor nutrition may result to maternal death, slow fetal growth, and health risks in both mother and child, she added. Said talking points were agreed on by the National Nutrition Council (NNC).
The national theme for the July nutrition month celebration is “First 1000 Days ni Baby, Pahalagahan para sa Malusog na Kinabukasan.”
The regional summit boasts of a more than three hundred attendance from the city of Baguio, Benguet, Abra, Apayao, Kalinga, Mt. Province, Ifugao and even La Union and Quirino province. Nutrition action officers, scholars, workers, local government officials, non-government agencies participated in the activities.
As the summit is for basic program implementers, lectures include the “Advocacy for ‘Pinggang Pinoy’ for all ages,” by NNC Region 1 Program Coordinator Eileen Blanco. The concept is done in coordination with the DOH, Food Nutrition Research Institute-Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) with scientifically-based recommended flood plate for Filipinos. The plate contains “appropriate proportions of various food groups for a healthy and balanced meal,” as to the food pyramid.
In earlier studies, inappropriate meals result to energy-deficient adults, yet malnourished, overweight or obese, and contacting non-communicable diseases, thus the “Pinggang Pinoy.”
Assistant city health officer Dr. John Tinoy-an spoke of pre-empting food security problems through organic food production, shunning gain-oriented but less nutritive-laden produce.
Other lectures were food consumption survey and effect on the nutritional status of Filipinos by Department of Science and Technology-Food Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) officer Dr. Marina Vargas; Chronic Illness Among Children and Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition by BGHMC Pediatrician Dr. Judylyn Degsi-Vitug.
Quirino province Nutrition Officer Luningning Rhodes shared good practices in nutrition which brought them to the National Hall of Fame as proprietor Donna Marie Roldan conducted livelihood demonstrations.
A benchmarking was also done the next day with a courtesy call to the city mayor’s and health office; with sharing of good practices at City Camp Proper and Imelda Village barangay. Some community livelihood projects were also observed along the way.
The regional summit theme is, “The Nutrition Community Maintaining Gains and Moving Forward to Meet Sustainable Development.”
By Julie G. Fianza