The country has been facing the rise on the number of underweight and overweight Filipinos for more than 20 years. The World Health Organization (WHO) defined this phenomenon as the “Double Burden of Malnutrition” or the “prevalence of both undernutrition and overweight in the same community, nation, or region.”
To address this problem, our government launched the Pinggang Pinoy® campaign in 2014. Pinggang Pinoy® is an easy-to-understand food guide showing proper food group portioning on a per-meal basis. This reflects the principles of MOderation, VAriety and BAlance (MOVABA) to promote healthier eating habits.
Solving the Philippines’ Double Burden of Malnutrition should be a collaborative effort between the public and private sectors as it is not an easy feat. With this, Ajinomoto Philippines Corporation partnered with government agencies to conduct education programs to raise awareness and promote the practice of Pinggang Pinoy® in malnutrition hotspots, where incidences of Double Burden Malnutrition are high. This training was given to homemakers/mothers who have malnourished (underweight, stunting, wasting, overweight and obese) school-aged children.
The pilot run resulted to improvements of the knowledge & attitudes of households related to the practice of Pinggang Pinoy® within target areas. However, behavior changes towards healthier eating habits remains to be a challenge. The program uncovered a number #MalnutritionTraps that some Pinoy households easily fall into. The following #MalnutritionTraps provide a picture of how unhealthy eating habits may lead to Double Burden of Malnutrition:
1. Overconsumption of carbohydrates: Voracious rice eaters can easily fill half of their plates with rice. Others have pandesal & noodles as regular meal deprived of other nutrients derived from a well-balanced meal.
2. Under consumption of vegetables and/fruits: It is common for some to be content with rice & meat to satisfy their hunger and skip/take insufficient amount of vegetables/fruits. Fact is, the variety of colors found in Glow foods are important sources of vitamins & minerals to sustain our energy & keep us from getting sick.
3. Overconsumption of protein: Typical Filipino “SILOG” meals include double serving of proteins (e.g. Tapa+Itlog, Tocino+Itlog, Longanisa+Itlog, Bangus+Itlog). Eating different kinds of protein is fine for as long as they are taken in moderation. We must also avoid protein dishes served high in fat, cholesterol and sodium.
More stories about #MalnutritionTraps can be referenced from these documentary videos:
To help Filipinos break free from #MalnutritionTraps, Ajinomoto’s Culinary Nutrition Team prepared Healthy & Delicious Pinggang Pinoy® Recipes, downloadable through https://bit.ly/2HIsfkj. Busy and budget-restricted homemakers will also find these Pinggang Pinoy® recipes useful because all are easy-to-do and affordable (P250/day for family of 5).