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PIA Press Release
2010/05/17

Cause for concern: Filipinos persistently anemic

Bacolod City (17 May) -- The Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) conducts the National Nutrition Survey every five years to reveal the nutrition situation of the Philippines.

One of the most important data derived from this survey is the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia (IDA), which remains a persistent problem through the years across population groups.

Iron deficiency anemia is a condition of the body when the hemoglobin level, which is the red coloring of the blood, is below normal level.

The latest National Nutrition Survey in 2008 revealed that the overall prevalence of anemia among Filipinos is 19.5%

The highest prevalence was observed among the infants 6 months to less than 1 year old at 55.7%, followed by pregnant women at 42.5%.

Among lactating women, the prevalence is 31.4%; for 6-12 year old males and females it is 20.4% and 19.2%, respectively.

A person is suffering from IDA if he or she is experiencing one or more of the symptoms of body weakness, pallor, poor work performance and easy fatigability, dizziness, poor appetite, and difficulty in getting sleep.

A person can suffer from IDA because of the following conditions or factors: increased need of iron by the body during pregnancy lactation, or growth; inadequate intake of iron from foods; increased blood loss due to parasitism, menstruation or child delivery; and poor absorption of iron in the body.

There are several ways to control IDA, namely: dietary modification (e.g., eating a variety of foods; taking of iron tablets or syrup; consuming fortified foods and public health measures such as controlling parasitism, practice of breastfeeding and family planning. (FNRI/PIA/cad) [top]

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