Issue of September 10, 2017
Mt. Province

69th Courier Anniversary Issue
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Survey says Cordillerans among ‘healthiest’ Pinoys
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

The Cordillera has some of the indicators of good nutrition based on the latest statistics of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute.

However, the region has to address its high overweight data since it has the highest prevalence of hypertension.

National Nutrition Council Program Coordinator Rita Papey said among the nutrition indicators are the prevalence of underweight, wasting, stunting, and over nutrition.

According to the 2015 FNRI data, 5.8 percent of Cordillerans are underweight, compared to the national level of 10.3 percent.

In wasting (low weight for height) among school children, CAR has 19.3 percent, which is among the lowest among other regions, while the national rate is 31.2 percent; and second lowest among zero to five years old at 16.8 percent compared to the national rate of 21.5 percent.

Pregnant women at risk is 22.3 percent the lowest nationwide, compared to the national status of 24.8 percent.

On stunting (low height for age), CAR’s rates for the five to 10 and 11 to 19-year old categories are lower than the national rate. It is eighth in the under five-year old bracket at 36.7 percent, but the percentage is higher than the national rate of 33.4 percent.

Papey said the under-five category rating, while not the highest in the country, is not a good indicator because this is a critical stage in growth.

Papey said the Cordillera, on the other hand, faces challenges in addressing its high overweight and obesity rates, which is also a form of malnutrition.

She said the region is consistently second to the National Capital Region in this area.

Per category, Cordillera is second highest among pre-school children, school children and adolescents; and third highest among adults at 34.5 percent.

“So our nutrition situation is extremes, low underweight but high overweight prevalence. We have to remember that hypertension is related to obesity and overweight, and we are the highest, even in terms of cholesterol level,” Papey said.

Moreover, Papey said the region is among the regions with the best indicators of food security, which means that it has the highest when it comes to volume of food.

Based on the same FNRI data, 38.7 percent of households in the Cordillera meet 100 percent of their energy intake. The national rate is 31 percent.

“However, while we rank high in the availability of food, mababa pa rin ito, although mababa ito dahil malayo sa 100 percent ang nakaka-meet ng tamang energy intake,” she said.

Also, 39 percent are households in CAR are food secure or have adequate food, while the national rate is 33.9 percent, and the region is still the best among all regions.  among all regions.

Among the observations on the high over nutrition rates is the Cordillerans’ low consumption of fish. “But on all other foods, medyo hindi tayo papahuli. Tayo ang may pinakamaraming available na pagkain. The challenge is how to balance them,” Papey said.

She added that the region’s good indicators are the result of advocacies on proper nutrition from the barangay to the provincial levels.

So far, CAR has 2,300 barangay nutrition scholars and all of its barangays have one or more BNSs to assist in the implementation of nutrition programs.

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