Nutrition is important during the child’s growing years because it has a major influence on his health and stature.
This was underscored by Corazon M. Cerdeña, Chief of the Nutritional Assessment and Monitoring Division of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) before she retired in 2011.
Cerdeña said poor maternal nutrition may limit the child’s growth, his ability to learn, and his intelligence potential.
She further added that children whose diets lack essential nutrients show inadequate physical growth that may hamper potential for future achievements. Poor nutrition limits the body’s ability to resist infection and adds to the risk of developing chronic illnesses later in life.
But despite steady progress in battling malnutrition among Filipino children over the years, results of the 7th National Nutrition Survey conducted in 2008 by the FNRI-DOST showed an increase in the prevalence of undernutrition.
There was a significant increase in the proportion of 0-5 year old children who were underweight, from 24.6 percent in 2005 to 26.2 percent in 2008. Among 6-10 year old children, underweight prevalence rose significantly from 22.8 percent in 2005 to 25.6 percent in 2008.
It is therefore of great import-ance to achieve nutritional well-being among children but this requires broad action on many issues, such as access to food, clean water, food safety, pro-moting healthy diet and lifestyle, regular monitoring of nutritional status and incorporating nutri-tion objectives into development policies and programs.#