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PIA Press Release

Parents urged to guide teenagers on proper food intake

Cebu City (16 July) -- Government calls on parents to provide their children especially adolescents the proper nutrition they need during this period for physical growth spurt and improved mental development.

Based on the National Nutrition Survey of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) in 2003, there are more underweight than overweight adolescents particularly within the 11-12 years of group age while more males are underweight than females.

The survey showed that 26 in every 100 adolescents within the 11-12 years old category are underweight and 12 in every 100 adolescents belonging to the 13-19 years old range are likewise underweight.

Though in the same survey, there are more adolescents that have normal weights for their height, the National Nutrition Council (NNC) is concerned that malnutrition among adolescents may increase due to poor eating habits and poor food choices heavily influenced by peers and the media.

In celebration of July as National Nutrition Month, the theme focuses on "Healthy Lifestyle ng Kabataan, Landas sa Kinabukasan!" that stresses the importance of balanced diet among adolescents.

NNC-7 chief Parolita Mission recently bared that among the important nutrients that adolescents should take in their daily diet are protein (fish, meat), calcium (milk and dairy foods), iron (fish, liver), phosphorus and magnesium (fish, meat, dairy products) and zinc (poultry, sardines).

Adolescents should take more proteins and carbohydrates and less on fats and consume more on vegetables and fruits for vitamins and minerals, this is learned.

Consequences of poor nutrition among adolescents include slow growth and development, poor school performance, sluggishness, easy fatigability, delay in the onset of secondary sex characteristics and micronutrient deficiencies particularly anemia.

The World Health Organization noted that the increasing prevalence and incidence of non-communicable diseases during adulthood result from faulty nutrition and lifestyle practices during pre-adolescence and adolescence.

Teaching adolescents to practice healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition will give them better chance to become healthy and productive adults in the future. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]

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