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‘Properly nourished moms key to taller Pinoys’
MANILA, Philippines - Filipino mothers who eat nutritious food during pregnancy could be the key to a population of taller Filipinos in the future, health experts have said.
Health experts found that mothers who eat healthful food in the first 1,000 days can make a big difference in the height of a child.
“As early as pregnancy, they should be well nourished already. Up to their second birthday, children must have proper nutrition so they will grow into taller adolescents,” said Azucena Dayanghirang, executive director of the National Nutrition Council said over the weekend.
“Stunting is already irreversible after the first two years. They can really become shorter if there is improper nutrition (in the first 1,000 days),” she added.
Results of the 2015 Nutritional Status of Filipino Children show that 33.4 percent of children five years old and below were shorter than the normal height of children for that age.
For this reason, the Department of Health (DOH) has launched the First 1,000 Days program, which aims to advise pregnant women to eat nutritious food starting from conception.
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Dayanghirang said following the First 1,000 Days program helps ensure that children will achieve full growth potential.
This July, the DOH is also observing the annual Nutrition Month to raise awareness on the importance of observing a healthy diet for Filipinos to prevent diseases.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, a healthy diet includes eating a variety of foods that meet individual needs for calories and are safe from toxins and bacteria.
The World Health Organization also promotes a healthy diet with emphasis on regular intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, root crops, fat-free or low-fat milk, lean meats, poultry, fish, egg, beans and nuts as well as low intake of saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium and added sugars.