Sunday, 9 December 2012

Malnutrition: Phillipines: A growing concern among Filipino school children

THE word “malnutrition” is generally associated with frail, skinny and hunger-stricken bodies. However, health experts time and again point out that this is not necessarily the case. In fact, a person may appear outwardly normal and fit but is actually malnourished. 
Part of understanding malnutrition is to know that it manifests itself in two types, namely, undernutrition and overnutrition. 
Undernutrition occurs when insufficient nutrients are absorbed by the body. These nutrients can be carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Children suffering from undernutrition miss out on the vital nutrients that are needed not only to grow but also to build up immunity against diseases. 
In its latest study, the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) revealed that almost one in every three Filipino children aged six to ten are underweight and underheight or stunted for their age. The prevalence was highest among those nine to ten years old, all as a result of undernourishment. 
Overnutrition, meanwhile, is the condition in which nutrients are oversupplied in a way more than the body is capable of absorbing. It could result either in obesity or imbalances in specific nutrients caused by excessive intake of dietary supplements or various fad diets. 
To combat these forms of malnutrition, a balanced diet that includes plenty of vegetables must be given to children especially in their growing-up years. Many nutritious and affordable vegetables can be prepared within the limits of one’s budget. 
Regular intake of fortified milk is also among the most viable ways of helping address malnutrition particularly undernutrition. Fortified milk like BEAR BRAND Powdered Milk Drink has been added with more vitamins and minerals than regular milk, offering a nutritious way for kids to get the benefits of the Tibay Resistensya nutrients, Iron, Zinc and Vitamin C. 
Jasmin Estacio, consumer marketing manager for BEAR BRAND Powdered Milk Drink, pointed out that the product’s affordable price also makes it easier for kids as well as adults to start the healthy milk-drinking habit at home. 
“Being the main parent who prepares the dishes, mothers have the crucial role to play in providing the right food on the table for the whole family,” she said. “They are also in the best position to promote the importance of drinking fortified milk every day, and BEAR BRAND Powdered Milk Drink is here to support their nutritional requirements every step of the way.”
Estacio added that through such simple means of providing good nutrition, parents will be able to ensure that their kids have a better fighting chance against undernutrition and get the optimum physical functions and mental performances needed to succeed in life.

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