Background

Background 

The Global Strategy for Diet, Physical Activity and Health released by the World Health Organization showed that an enabling environment for sustainable actions promoting and protecting health will lead to reduced disease and death rates related to unhealthy diet and physical activity.  A marked increase in the cases of non-communicable /chronic/lifestyle diseases has been observed globally.  This trend has also been seen in the Philipines.  More than 44 million Filipinos have either:  obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and chronic respiratory diseases. 

With this in mind, the World Health Organization, through the Department of Health ( DOH) commissioned the Nutritionist-Dietitian’s Association of the Philippines ( NDAP) to establish a set of guidelines on healthy eating which will serve as a basis for a Certification Program for food manufacturers and establishments.  The goal is to attain a healthy Filipino through nutritious food choices.

Strategies

  • Establish guidelines on key nutrients chosen by a DOH/NDAP Technical Working Group :  fat, sugar, sodium, and dietary fiber.
  • Process and certify manufactured food products and prepared dishes served in fast food establishments as good for health based on the guidelines 
  • Confer the “ Healthier You” stamp for use on food labels in markets/   supermarkets, on markers and menu cards in designated areas in food  establishments, or printed in facades or signages of eating places.  
    “ Healthier you”  symbolizes the added health protection given by a certified food product.  

    Confer the “Healthier You” stamp for use on food labels in markets/   supermarkets, on markers and menu cards in designated areas in food establishments, or printed in facades or signages of eating places.  
    “Healthier you”  symbolizes the added health protection given by a certified food product.  

 

The first three :  fat, sugar, sodium, were identified in the Global Strategy of WHO as  highly correlated with the onset of non-communicable diseases ( NCD). On the other hand, dietary fiber has been associated with the prevention and deferment of the onset of non-communicable diseases (NCD)  among individuals at high risk.

 

The Certification Program shall not cover carbonated beverages, infant formula, growing-up milk ( up to 6 years of age), milk for special dietary use, complementary food, confectioneries, including chewing gum, cooking oil, and extruded snack foods.


Why is there a need for guidelines for healthy eating ?

Sixty percent ( 60%) of deaths worldwide are due to chronic disease, also called non-communicable disease or  lifestyle disease.  The latter is attributed to the setting in of a certain level of prosperity similar to the way Westerners live .  Primarily, conditions like certain forms of cancer, most types of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes are “contracted” from the way people live. Poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, excess alcohol, and in the late 2000s even poor sleep may have contributed to these illnesses .

Three facts about lifestyle diseases:

  • No. 1 cause of death and disability in the United States.
  • They take decades to become fully established; they have their origins at younger ages.
  • They can be prevented and controlled.

 

Factors that Lead to Lifestyle Diseases

 

Reference:

World Health Organization. Preventing Chronic Diseases.
                        A Vital Investment. 2005
Food and Nutrition Research Institute .
www.fnri.com