THE obesity rate continues to increase in Northern Mindanao, with Misamis Oriental recording the highest among the five provinces, the National Nutrition Council (NNC) regional office reported.
According to NNC-Northern Mindanao Nutrition Program Coordinator Gladys Mae Fernandez, based on the NNC's survey in 2018, Northern Mindanao recorded 7.1 percent prevalence of overweight and obesity.
"Increasing yung prevalence rate of overweight and obesity across all ages except below 2 years old," Fernandez said.
Among the five provinces of the region, Fernandez said that Misamis Oriental recorded the highest rate at 8.5 percent, higher than the recorded percentage of the region.
"Dahil siguro mas maraming urban areas, mas marami ang access natin sa mga fastfoods, processed foods. Mas marami dito compared sa other areas," Fernandez said.
"Kailangang i-strengthen pa natin yung mga advocacy, dissemination through the Department of Education sa kanilang curriculum, yung nutrition education, kung ano yung tama. Although ongoing naman yung kanilang policy dun sa healthy food and beverages na kailangan nandoon sa schools," she said.
Fernandez also encouraged the local government units to issue or adopt a resolution to promote a healthy diet and a healthy environment.
"Kasi hindi naman natin ma-control ang ating mga restaurants, pero pwede sila mag issue ng resolution ordinance na yung mga karenderias or restaurants mag serve ng mga healthy options. More fruits and vegetables, and then i-encourage din natin yung sa mga canteen natin sa offices na kailangan merong i-serve na mga healthy foods. May healthy options tayo, including mga beverages," she said.
Apart from the local government units and schools, the NNC-Northern Mindanao is also encouraging individuals to maintain a healthy diet, such as avoiding sugary drinks and consuming at least 400 grams of vegetables everyday.
"Hinay-hinay sa mga matatamis, maaalat, matataba. Kailangan magtanim sila ng sarili nilang gulay or vegetable garden sa kanilang bahay para ma ensure na meron silang healthy source of food, like the vegetables," Fernandez said.
While Misamis Oriental recorded the highest prevalence rate of overweight and obesity in the region, Lanao del Norte, on the other hand, posted an 8.1 percent prevalence rate of underweight in 2018.
Fernandez said that the NNC has also coordinated with the local government units to address the issue and has included it in the nutrition education, apart from the feedings programs conducted.