Issue of June 9, 2019
Mt. Province

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Serving of healthy food at gov’t events pressed
by Maria Aprila W. Cruz / PIA

The Regional Implementation Coordination Team (RICT)-Cordillera strengthens its campaign towards healthier food options during meetings, trainings, and workshops of government agencies.

The team recently held a dialogue with hotel owners and caterers and discussed the need for the latter to accommodate recommended menus that aim to provide healthy food and beverage choices for participants during activities of government offices in line with a RICT resolution.

Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator Rita Papey said RICT-Cordillera Resolution 1  passed  in  July last year encourages regional line agencies, Department of Health hospitals, and local government units to provide healthier options during meetings, training, workshops, and other activities. 

This  stemmed  from  the 2015 National Nutrition Survey  results  that showed Cordillera has  one of the highest prevalence of overweight and obesity across all ages.

The survey showed that 35.4 percent of adults in the region are either overweight or obese compared with the national average of 31.1 percent.

Initial result of the nutritional assessment spearheaded by Benguet State University among selected government employees in the Cordillera also showed that 54 percent of the respondents were overweight or obese, Papey said.

Based on RICT resolution, serving of high calorie meals and snacks to government employees participating in different activities could be a contributory factor to the increased overweight and obesity among public workers.

It also stated one of the major causes of overweight and obesity is that majority of food suppliers like restaurants, eateries, caterers, and groceries market calories-dense foods with fewer choices for healthier food options.

The RICT has some recommendations in preparing menu for meetings, trainings, workshops and other activities.

For snacks, avoid heavily salted, highly sweetened snacks, and deep fried snacks. Serving fruits is a healthier option.

For meals, increase serving of fruits and vegetables and reduce meat servings.

Serve brown rice or corn, oatmeal, root crops, boiled saba, iron fortified rice (brown or polished).

For drinks, serve water, buko juice or fresh fruit juice. Avoid sugar sweetened beverages such as soft drinks, flavored mineral water, sports drinks, sweetened water, and powdered juice drinks.

The National Nutrition Council-Cordillera, in coordination with Nutritionist-Dietitians Association of the Philippines Baguio-Benguet Chapter and the Technical Working Group, are currently developing the guide menu for government activities.

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