According to World Health Organization (WHO), non-communicable diseases (NCDs) also known as Lifestyle or behavior diseases such as heart diseases, stroke, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases are the leading causes of death globally.These are called such because much of the risk factors associated with them are related to how one lives.Among the important risk factors to NCDs are high blood pressure, high concentrations of cholesterol in the blood, inadequate intake of fruits and vegetables and other fiber-rich foods, overweight or obesity, physical inactivity and tobacco use.
Food intake of the average Filipino has been changing over the years in terms of quantity and quality. Filipinos are now eating more fish, meat, poultry and eggs which are good sources of protein. However, Filipinos are eating less of fruits and vegetables and complex carbohydrates, and more of sugars and syrups, fats and oils. This increase can be attributed to the increased consumption of animal-based foods and decline in fruit and vegetable consumption.
There are current initiatives that are implemented to promote healthy diets for lifestyle-disease prevention and control and the latest strategies are the Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos (NGF), popularly known as Ten Kumainments and the Pinggang Pinoy.
The Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos, consisting of ten key messages includes both foodbased and behaviour driven guidelines and addresses current nutritional dietary problems. The Nutritional guidelines aim to address and prevent malnutrition and diet-related non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.The NGF was simplified, shortened and translated into 10 KUMAINMENTS (Sigla at Lakas ng Buhay) with simple, concise and clear key messages and NGF icon. With messages like “Kumain ng ibat-ibang pagkain”, Kumain ng gulay at prutas araw-araw”, and “Panatilihin ang tamang timbang”,individuals are encouraged to eat the right foods, exercise right and pursue a healthy lifestyle in 10 easy rules.
Pinggang Pinoy is a new, easy to understand food guide that uses a familiar food plate model to convey the right food group proportions on a per-meal basis, to meet the body’s energy and nutrient needs of Filipino adults. Pinggang Pinoy is used as a visual tool to help Filipinos adopt healthy eating habits at meal times by delivering effective dietary and healthy lifestyle messages. The “Pinggang Pinoy” can be used side by side with the existing Daily Nutritional Guide (DNG) Pyramid for Filipinos but it will not replace it. According to Food and Nutrition Reaserch Institute (FNRI), Pinggang Pinoy is a quick and easy guide on how much to eat per mealtime, while the DNG Pyramid shows at a glance the whole day food intake recommendation. Both the “Pinggang Pinoy” and the DNG Pyramid for Filipinos are based on the latest science about how our food, drink, and activity choices affect our health.#