A March 22, 2013, press release from the Department of Health
The National Nutrition Council – National Capital Region in partnership with the Association of Nutrition Action Officers of National Capital Region, Inc. (ANAO-NCR) today lead the “Hakbang Para Sa Tamang Timbang”, an advocacy walk aimed to create awareness on the importance of healthy weight through proper diet and moderate physical activity at the Liwasang Aurora, Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City.
“This event is in response to the growing number of overweight and obese children and adults in Metro Manila. We want to increase the public’s awareness on the importance of maintaining normal or healthy weight by eating a balanced and healthy diet and regular physical activity”, ANAO-NCR President Mrs. Menchie A. Abalos explained. “Nowadays, children spend most of their time watching television or playing computer video games or surfing through the internet rather than engaging in activities that require them to be physically active,” she added.
“We need to motivate our kids to be physically active and start exercising at an early age. Being physically active can help make their bones and muscles stronger, make them more lean and healthy and reduce health problems,” NNC Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator Mila V. Federizo stated. “Physically inactive children are more likely to become physically inactive adults. This is why we need to engage our children in fun and enjoyable physical activities. Developing the habit of exercising can help reduce health risks as they grow,” Federizo added.
According to the 2011 Updating Survey on the Nutritional Status of Filipinos conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), the problem of overweight and obesity among children in Metro Manila is greater than in other parts of the country. About 8 in every 100 children in Metro Manila aged 0-5 years are overweight and obese. What is even more alarming is that four in every ten adults in Metro Manila are overweight and obese. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of having non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, and respiratory problems, and even some forms of cancer.
“We need to curb this increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity among our children. We need to start good nutrition early by breastfeeding infants exclusively from birth up to six months then give appropriate complementary foods while continuing breastfeeding for two years and beyond. Breastfed infants are less likely to become overweight and obese children. Being physically active and eating healthy foods can help children maintain a healthy weight,” NPC Federizo emphasized.
Participants of the event are overweight and obese children with their parents, nutrition workers and partner agencies from all over Metro Manila. Other activities in the event include “Dancercize,” nutrition assessment and counseling, breastfeeding promotion, and distribution of Veggie Ref Magnets to promote increased consumption of vegetables.