The Department of Science and Technology, through the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, is developing food nutrition products rich with iron and energy builder vitamins to address the growing problem of malnutrition in the Philippines.
Miraflor Gonzales, Supervising Science Research Specialist of FNRI, said yesterday at the monitoring meeting and media forum on nutrition communication in Bacolod City, that they conduct nutrition surveys on a national scale every five years and have learned that many lactating mothers and also women and children are malnourished.
She said some children are either under-nourished or over-nourished because of improper intake of food.
Miraflores added that they are conducting nutrition campaign in different areas in the Philippines to tell the people to eat a variety of foods from the three food groups-go grow and glow, for complete nourishment.
FNRI research shows that, as of 2011, two in every 10 children aged 0 to 5 years old, and comprising 20 percent of children, are underweight for their age and 3 in every 10 children, or 33.6 percent of the entire children population, are short for their age.
As to maternal nutrition, one in every four pregnant women is nutritionally at risk, one in every 10 lactating mothers is underweight, while two of every 10 lactating mothers are overweight, the research also showed.
FNRI also said that iron deficiency anemia, vitamin A deficiency and iodine deficiency disorders remain the top three key micro-nutrient shortages of public health concerns.
Meanwhile, Josefina Gonzales of the Philippine Society of Nutritionist-Dietitians Inc. said in her presentation said that two in every 10 children aged between 0 to 5 years old, had iron deficiency anemia as of 2008, while two in every ten children between 6 to 12 years old had the same health problem on that year.
Gonzales said one of every ten male teenagers aged 13 to 19, and two of every ten females in the same age bracket, had iron deficiency anemia in 2008.
She said four in every 10 pregnant women and three of every 10 lactating women also have IDA.*APN