July | National Nutrition Month
This month speaks of nutrition and in this time of pandemic, it is proper to value our healthy lifestyle. Considering nutrition as an agent against diseases, it is one of the factors that can save our lives in so many ways. In celebration of this, July has been publicized as the National Nutrition Month in the Philippines.
The National Nutrition Council (NNC) has given the responsibility in raising awareness through various campaigns nationwide. In 1974, the Presidential Decree 491 gave the mandate to NNC that July shall be the Nutrition Month. However, the celebration and promotion of awareness seek the involvement of the families, communities, academes, governments, and non-government organizations. Moreover, this 46th year of raising and continuing the common vision for Filipinos with the leadership of NCC for health and nutrition, revolves around the theme “Batang Pinoy, SANA TALL. Iwas stunting, SAMA ALL!” In the published article dated 31 January 2020, the latter was the chosen concept that calls for the collective efforts of every Filipino to be mobilized, give care and attention to stunting concerns across the country.
Digging deeper into the national theme, stunting has long anchored to growth and developments of individuals, specifically the children, whose nutritional levels are at a low rate. NCC further discussed that stunting may lead to poor educational performance of children, high risk of getting communicable disease, and worst, it may result in death. This proof that stunting does not only affect the physical views of a person but mental health as well. More so, the World Health Organization (WHO) stressed that stunted growth is not just about height but is also the failure for an individual to reach his full potential for growth.
The belief that stunting is caused and brought by genes, and it is hereditary condition is far away from an illness. Everyone must be enlightened with this: when it comes to stunting family history, having a short stature has nothing to do with it. Be reminded that stunting is an illness with underlying health conditions. In the article, published in the Healthline entitled "Understanding Delayed Growth and How It’s Treated" supports the claim about heredity is not the reason of stunting as delayed growth due to genes is no indication of it. Both the NCC and the WHO is one in the idea that proper nutrition and care must be given to children or even during the day's conception up to his early years. With this, stunting can be avoided because it ensures that during the stages of growths and developments, nutritious foods are given to the child. The responsibility and the knowledge of the parents are vital to the success of the fight against this concern. Considering that stunting is irreversible, a child who is lacking from proper nutrition may not become productive.
May this serve as encouragement to everyone to value the sustainability of not just nutritious foods but also the activities and programs to address threats in health.
NNC TechCom approves 2020 Nutrition Month theme, Radyo Mo sa Nutrisyon, January 31, 2020
Stunting in a nutshell, World Health Organization
Talking Points, National Nutrition Council, 2019