NCC asks LGUs to converge delivery of nutrition services

Local News Official
Local News OfficialSunStar File Photo

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO --- As the nation marks the 50th year of National Nutrition Month this July, the Nutrition National Council (NNC) has urged local government units or LGUs to converge the delivery of nutrition services in their respective areas to curb child stunting and food poverty.

The NNC said LGUs are responsible for delivery of nutrition services at the local level.

The local government are expected to have local nutrition action plans that are aligned with the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) 2023-2028 to transform children’s nutrition, combat stunting, and reverse the tide of childhood overweight and obesity, the agency added.

"LGU investment in nutrition needs to include interventions in the critical first 1,000 days that must reach at least 90 percent of target pregnant women and children 0-23 months old. These need to be complemented with interventions to halt the rise in obesity including policies on reducing marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to children, promoting physical activity by transforming the built environment and improving access to nutrition services," the NNC said.

The agency cited a UNICEF study which shows the Philippines is one of the countries that account for 65 per cent of the total number of children living in severe child food poverty or children consuming only two of eight defined food groups.

The study noted that stunting affects 26 per cent of children below 5 years, the NCC said.

This may result in poor cognition and educational performance, and negatively affect outcomes later in life such as low wages and lost productivity, according to the agency.

There has also been a rapid increase in childhood overweight and obesity since 2003.

The NCC said the number of overweight and obese children has almost tripled and is now classified as “high” according to global standards.

Micronutrient deficiencies such as the lack of iron, iodine and vitamin A affect pregnant and lactating women, and children, the agency added.

Parents and families are struggling to provide nutritious and diverse foods that young children need to reach their full potential.

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