By Charina Clarisse Echaluce
The vital role of proper nutrition in developing healthier, and yes, taller and more athletic Filipinos was underscored by the National Nutrition Council (NNC), stressing the importance of giving proper nutrition to a child for the first 1,000 days of his/her life.
NNC Deputy Executive Director Dr. Azucena Dayanghirang said providing proper nutrition for the first 1,000 days of an infant may boost their chances of growing taller and healthier.
“As early as pregnancy of mothers, they should be well-nourished already. Up to their second birthday, children must have proper nutrition so they will grow into taller adolescents,” said Dayanghirang .
Under the First 1000 Days program, high-impact nutrition interventions is advised to pregnant mothers and to their newborns beginning with the time of conception to the first two years of the child’s life.
Dayanghirang explained that adhering to the First 1,000 Days program is necessary to ensure that children will not suffer from stunting, and will instead attain their full growth potential.
“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 stressed.
According to the 2015 Nutritional Status of Filipino Children, a total of 33.4 percent of children five years old and below were found to have stunted growth or are short for their age.
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