July 1, 2012
July is celebrated nationwide on the barangay, municipal, city, provincial, and local levels as Nutrition Month in the Philippines to encourage everyone to eat healthy and nutritious foods.
Section 7 of Presidential Decree 411 designates July as Nutrition Month to create greater awareness among the Filipinos on the importance of nutrition, focusing attention on making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
Good nutrition is important for everyone.
Healthful diets help children grow, develop, and do well in school. They enable people of all ages to work productively and feel their best. What people eat can also reduce the risk of diseases such as heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, stroke, and osteoporosis.
Eating right can reduce the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol which increase the risk of disease. Proper nutrition means getting both enough calories and the proper nutrients. Many people eat more calories than the body needs. This can lead to obesity which is a risk factor for many diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
The importance of nutrition has been known for centuries. In 400 BC, Hippocrates said, “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.”
Today, good nutrition has become more important than ever. There is also now a variety of dietary preferences to choose from, based on cultural diversity, religion and regional differences, and personal preferences. Nutritional needs change throughout the life cycle. The number of calories and amount of specific nutrients required vary based on age, sex, reproductive status, activity level, and overall health of the person.
Of course food alone is not the only key to a longer and healthier life. Good nutrition should be part of an overall healthy lifestyle which includes regular exercise, not smoking or drinking alcohol excessively, stress management, and limiting exposure to environmental hazards. And genes also play a big part in your risk for certain health problems.
As in anything one does, moderation is the key to good health. Eating too much food can result in excess weight while eating too little can lead to numerous nutrient deficiencies and low body mass. Eating healthy and nutritious food is essential to obtain optimal wellness.