TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, July 12 (PIA) - - The National Nutrition Council (NNC) region 2 urged parents to take care and ensure proper nutrition of their children from conception to two years to resolve stunting and other forms of malnutrition.
Maria Gisela M. Gonzaga, nutrition program coordinator, said based on the study of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), there are 28.8 percent of children aged zero to five in the Cagayan Valley region are stunted, lower than the 30.3 percent stunting level nationwide.
"Our data on stunting is lower than the national level but we must not be complacent on this. We need to help each other to eliminate the number. What we want is to lessen if not to totally eradicate stunting in our region," Gonzaga said.
Lonzaga said this year's Nutrition Month celebration is focused on the elimination of stunting in the country .
She said studies show that "stunting", or low height for age, is caused by long-term insufficient nutrient intake and frequent infections which can result into weakened immune system, impaired cognitive ability, and increased risk of obesity and elevated blood pressure.
"To prevent stunting, pregnant women should ensure proper nutrition during the first 1000 days of the child or from the conception of the child in the mother's womb up to its 2 years," Lonzaga said.
She added that stunting is not 'hereditary' as proven in many studies which refute ancient beliefs that the height of a person is inherited from their roots.
For the month of July, Lonzaga said NNC will conduct jingle making contest, poster making, essay writing and search for "Natayag na Bata" (tall children) which will all be conducted online.
She also said they will be presenting documentaries on the journeys of pregnant women. (MDCT/OTB/PIA 2-Cagayan)