Public urged to help combat over-nutrition

NUTRITIONISTS in Davao Region urged the public to start having a healthy diet to combat over-nutrition among the adult population in celebration of this year's Nutrition Month.

National Nutrition Council (NNC)-Davao Regional nutrition program coordinator Dr. Maria Tesa Ungson, in an interview, said Food Nutrition Research Institute 2013 survey showed that 31.1 percent of 25 to 45 years old Filipinos are overweight, and 34.4 percent of them are females.

"We have high number of overweight females due to stress because a lot is expected from women today. Most of them are expected to work while catering the needs of their homes," Ungson said.

She said most overweight issues among men and women are caused by overeating due to stress. Thus, she said people have to be mindful of their food consumption and prioritize healthy food in their meals despite their busy work schedules.

"It is important for adults to become role models of healthy lifestyle in order to produce a healthy nation," she added.

For the 43rd Nutrition Month this month, Ungson said NNC will focus on the importance of a healthy diet that protects against under nutrition and over nutrition that cause non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, cardio-vascular diseases, and certain types of cancer.

With this year's theme "Healthy Diet, gawing habit-for life," Ungson said NNC wants to help the public distinguish between healthy and unhealthy food for better food choices.

According to the World Health Organization, a healthy diet emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, root crops, fat-free or low fat milk, lean meats, poultry, fish, egg, beans, and nuts. Food consumption should also be low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium and added sugars.

"A healthy diet also provides just enough amounts of energy needed for one's daily activities without going beyond one's caloric needs so as to maintain a healthy body weight," Ungson said.

The NNC-Davao Region, she added, will have a Health Fest on Thursday, July 20, at The Annex Events Center of SM City Davao with nutrition experts expected to tackle basics and importance of a healthy diet. There will also be a Zumba session in the afternoon with different instructors from various health and wellness centers.

"The event is open to public so let us all together burn calories and create a healthy nation," Ungson said.
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