Serving of healthy food at gov’t events urged
BAGUIO CITY –The Regional Implementation Coordination Team (RICT) in the Cordillera region strengthens its campaign towards healthier food options during meetings, trainings, and workshops of government agencies.
The team recently held initial dialogue with hotel owners and caterers to discuss the need to accommodate recommended menus that aim to provide healthy food and beverage choices for participants during activities of government offices in line with a RICT resolution.
Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator Rita Papey said RICT-CAR Resolution No. 001 passed in July last year encourages regional line agencies, Department of Health hospitals and local government units to provide healthier options during meetings, training, workshops and other activities.
This steamed from the 2015 National Nutrition Survey results where CAR has one of the highest prevalence of overweight and obesity across all ages with 35.4 percent of adults either overweight and obese compared to the national average of 31.1%.
Initial result of the nutritional assessment spearheaded by Benguet State University among selected government employees in the Cordillera also showed that 54 percent of the respondents were overweight or obese, Papey said.
Based on a RICT resolution, serving of high calorie meals and snacks to government employees participating in different activities could be a contributory factor to the increased overweight and obesity among public workers.
It also stated one of the major causes of overweight and obesity is that majority of food suppliers like restaurants, eateries, caterers, groceries market calories dense foods with fewer choices for natural healthier food options including food suppliers for government meetings and workshops.
The RICT has some recommendations in preparing menu for meetings, trainings, workshops and other activities.
For snacks, avoid heavily salted (e.g. chichiria, chips) and highly sweetened snacks (ice cream, donuts, highly sweetened cakes and bakery products) and deep fried snacks (e.g French fries, fish ball, kikiam). Serving fruits is a healthier option.
For meals, increase serving of fruits and vegetables and reduce meat servings (Pinggang Pinoy recommendation is fruits and vegetables should be 33% of food intake and 17% of meat/poultry or fish per meal).
Serve brown rice or corn, oatmeal, root crops, boiled saba, iron fortified rice (brown or polished)
For drinks, serve water, buko juice or fresh fruit juice. Avoid sugar sweetened beverages such as soft drinks, flavored mineral water, sports drinks, sweetened waters and powdered juice drinks.
The National Nutrition Council –CAR, in coordination with Nutritionist-Dietitians Association of the Philippines Baguio-Benguet Chapter and the Technical Working Group, are currently developing the guide menu for government activities. **JDP/MAWC- PIA CAR