EDITORIAL | Rethinking nutrition

The Philippines celebrates Nutrition Month every July, urging Filipinos to consider the nation’s many nutritional concerns.

Nutrition contributes significantly to the nation’s progress, or lack thereof, that it is exigent to consider nutrition as a vital health issue that must be taken into account by both the public and private sectors, if we truly aim for a better Philippines.

Unfortunately, although great strides are being made in nutritional research by scientists, these developments hardly trickle down to the masses, who sadly continue to be mired in disinformation regarding food, as well as a general lack of access to healthier nutritional options.

Meantime, there are nutritional myths such as taking food supplements that are based on anecdotal evidence and not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, which pervade various social classes.

There is also the false notion that malnutrition only concerns those who are underweight or wasted, when in fact, it also includes those who are obese or overweight.

These, and other related nutritional issues, prompt us to give greater attention to nutrition in policy-making, particularly one that encourages a paradigm shift in how we think about nutrition.

Such paradigm shift is already happening in other nations, where more emphasis is now given to prevention of nutritional problems by allowing for better access to healthier food, than to turning to medicines to cure ailments caused by malnutrition.

It is high time, perhaps that we rethink nutrition not as an annual list of activities for poster-making and essay-writing competitions, but as an issue of national significance that affects our present and future.