8th National Nutrition Survey to conclude in December 2013

Now in full swing, the NNS was started in June 2013 and expected to be concluded in December this year.

The NNS provides information on the health status of Filipinos by determining and evaluating the food intake and other characteristics of the various subpopulation groups. Hence, the survey is composed of the following components:

Anthropometry – to measure prevalence of stunting, wasting, underweight, and obesity

Food Insecurity – to assess food insecurity situations and identify coping mechanisms of food insecure households

Government Programs Participation – to determine household participation on certain programs implemented by government agencies

Maternal Nutrition and Health – to assess the nutritional status of pregnant women and mothers

Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices – to gather data on the feeding practices of children

Biochemical – to measure prevalence of anemia, urinary iodine excretion (UIE), deficient and low retinol levels, thalassemia, and vitamin D deficiency

Clinical and Health – to identify the prevalence of and risk factors to hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, cancer, and other diseases

Dietary – to evaluate food consumption and nutrient and energy intake of households, particularly children, pregnant women and lactating mothers

Socio-economic – to determine economic and demographic information of households

The survey adopts the 2003 master sample for household surveys and uses a multi-stage sampling design, and covers approximately 230,000 individuals nationwide.

The survey is undertaken in cooperation with the Department of Health National Center for Disease and Prevention and Control (DOH-NCDPC), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), Philippine Council for Health Research and Develop-ment, Philippine Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism (PSEM), and the Royal DSM company.

Results from the 7th NNS conducted in 2008 showed that among children zero to 10 years old, undernutrition continues to be a public health problem, affecting nearly three out of 10 children. The percentage of underweight children in the country increased from 22.8% in 2005 to 25.6% in 2008 which maybe attributed to the significant reduction in the total food intake of children six months to five years old, from 2003 to 2008.

The results of the survey also showed that more than 65% of Filipinos are energy-deficient in their daily intake and more than 70% lack iron, vitamin A, calcium and vitamin C in their daily diet. On the other hand, the proportion of nutritionally at-risk pregnant women decreased from 28.4% in 2005 to 26.3% in 2008.