The Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) conducted a dissemination forum on the result of the 8thNational Nutrition Survey on October 10, 2014 at Y Hotel, Butuan City. The national nutrition survey is conducted every three years since 1978 and aims to evaluate the nutrition and health status of Filipinos and update the statistics on food, nutrition and health situation in the country. The 8thNNS was conducted all over the country during the period of June 2013 to April 2014. The survey covers the components on anthropometric survey, biochemical survey, clinical and health survey, economics survey, food security, government program participation, infant and young child feeding, maternal health and salt survey.
Participants during the forum were Nutrition Action Officers, District Nutrition Program Coordinators, DOST provincial directors, inter-agency personnel and other stakeholders. Highlights of the survey showed that for Caraga, the number of 0-5 year-old children who were underweight reduced to 19.9% from 23.1 % in 2011. Provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Norte showed notable decrease in number of underweight children. Data on number of children who are stunted, those who are short for their age, lessened by 3 percentage points from 37.3% in 2011 to 34.3 % in 2013. All provinces in Caraga showed reduction in stunting. Meanwhile the number of children who were wasted, those whose weight is low for their height, also decreased by 1.1 percent to 7.5%. The provinces of Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur showed decreased number of wasted children.
On the other hand, the number of overweight children almost doubled from the 2011 rate of 1.9 % to the 2013 rate of 3.7%. The result of the survey showed the extent of double burden of malnutrition in the region. While undernourished children are prone to infections and have weak resistance to fight off diseases, overnourished children are more at risk for diet-related non-communicable diseases. The challenge to nutrition stakeholders then is to reduce or eradicate the number of children who are not just undernourished but also the overnourished. ###