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Nutrition Month 2013


Nutrition Month 2013 underscores need for concerted actions
to reduce hunger, malnutrition

By: Christie L. Alvarez

         This year’s Nutrition Month celebration focuses on the theme "Gutom at malnutrisyon, sama-sama nating  wakasan! (Hunger and malnutrition, together let us end!)."

         The theme underscores the need for concerted multi-stakeholder action to reduce hunger and malnutrition.

         The whole nation celebrates the month of July as the Nutrition Month pursuant to Section 7 of Presidential Decree 491, known as the Nutrition Act of the Philippines. It designates the month of July as Nutrition Month to create greater awareness among  the public on the importance of nutrition.

         The 2013 Nutrition Month celebration is a call to action to address hunger and for all government agencies concerned to harmonize program implementation and operations along hunger reduction, particularly in ensuring that Filipinos have access to adequate,  nutritious and safe food.

         It is also a call for local government units (LGUs) to improve delivery and access to social services which will enhance the consumption of food.  Moreover, it is a call for  local chief executives to localize nationally-initiated programs on poverty and hunger reduction..

         Nutrition Month 2013 is focused on hunger is part of the Philippines' commitment to the United Nation Millennium Development Goal 1 which is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, specifically to reduce by half the number of underweight-for-age under-five  from 27.3 percent in 1990 to 13.7 percent in 2015 and to reduce by half the percentage of households with inadequate dietary energy intake from 74.2 percent in 1993 to 37.1 percent in 2015.

         NNC believes that while malnutrition prevalence is declining, it is at a slow pace with the prevalence of underweight-for-age among pre-schoolers at 20.2 percent in 2011 as stated in the 2011 Updating of Nutritional Status by the Department of Science  and Technology - Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI).

         Meanwhile, DOST-FNRI’s 7th National Nutrition Survey results show that the percentage of households with per capita intake below 100 percent of the dietary energy requirement is at 66.9 percent in 2008, an increase from 57 percent in 2003.

         To reach the goals on reducing hunger, more definitive actions on hunger reduction have to be done. The 39th celebration of Nutrition Month focuses and addresses the state, goals on, and causes of hunger in the Philippines. "Gutom at malnutrisyon, sama-sama  nating wakasan!" campaign aims to raise awareness on hunger issues, and actions to mitigate hunger and malnutrition. The 2013 National Nutrition Month theme, emphasizes the need for active participation and contribution of multi-stakeholder on addressing  hunger issues. The themes focus also advocates for stronger political action to end hunger.

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