Thursday, March 14, 2013

Micronutrient deficiency in PH: When the smallest matters most

More and more Filipino schoolchildren suffer from inadequate nutrition 

Micronutrient deficiency in PH:
When the smallest matters most

By their very name, micronutrients are vitamins and minerals that are needed only in very small amounts, but their impact on our health is huge.

Micronutrients like iron, zinc, Vitamin A, and many others are responsible for the vital functioning of our body’s systems, from physical growth and vision, to brain vigor and increased immunity. When the body fails to receive the small quantities of micronutrients that it needs, serious health problems can result in a condition widely regarded as micronutrient deficiency or “hidden hunger”.

The nutritional makeup of the Philippines continues to be characterized by the severity of micronutrient deficiency. According to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute- Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST), 70-90 percent of Filipinos lack iron and Vitamin A in their usual diet.

Two out of ten schoolchildren suffer from iron deficiency anemia, and the incident rises with age. Following closely are those lacking adequate amounts of Vitamin A in their diet.  One out of ten from the same group is Vitamin A deficient.

The same study also shows that two out of ten children are zinc deficient. Zinc is a trace mineral that plays a role in body metabolism, reproductive health, immune function, and more than 200 important chemical reactions in the body.

Inadequate intake of these three important micronutrients may lead to several nutritional problems, including stunting, fatigue, poor concentration, lack of focus and other signs of impaired physical and cognitive development. These may be reflected among schoolchildren who suffer from poor mental and physical performance and frequent absenteeism as a result of impaired immunity. It is also important to have plenty of Vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant that boosts immunity, prevents cardiovascular disease, and contributes to healthy skin, among many other benefits.

“Making the right food choices is one of the ways to address the problems of micronutrient deficiency,” said Dr. Imelda Agdeppa, Assistant Scientist of FNRI-DOST. “Unfortunately, the inaccessibility of food and money in the majority of Filipino households puts many families at a high risk of getting sick. The good news is there are many products in the market that are affordable and fortified with these micronutrients, and many families are already benefiting from these.”

Experts from FNRI recommend that when there is an inadequate intake of these nutrients, the consumption of foods that are fortified particularly with the three micronutrients primarily lacking in the Filipino diet—Vitamin A, Iron, and Zinc—is  encouraged so as to address nutrient gap.

In response to this dietary concern, Nestlé Philippines is intensifying its campaign to promote nutritious and affordable sources of important nutrients especially needed by children, such as BEAR BRAND Powdered Milk Drink. It is fortified with tibay resistensya nutrients like Iron, Zinc, and Vitamin C plus Calcium that kids need for proper growth and to perform well in school.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


GREAT OUTDOOR FUN WITH BANANA BOAT. Bring your family and friends on March 17 and experience summer fun activities at the Quezon City Memorial Circle.

GREAT OUTDOOR FAMILY BONDING. A memorable summer awaits your family at the Quezon City Memorial Circle on March 17 with Banana Boat’s Great Outdoor Fun. Families can enjoy various activities such as biking, boat ride, zip line, bumper boat, carousel and a whole lot more.

For a child, nothing else matters outside of having fun. Sharing laughs with friends, spending the day with the family, it’s all about having good times and lots of it.
There is probably nothing that can make a child more giddy that the thought of a coming summer. For them, the season is about enjoying the outdoors. Be it running through fields and climbing trees, or enjoying a pleasant picnic with family members and barkadas while watching clouds pass by, summer has and always been high time for kids and grownups alike.
Banana Boat Sunscreen Lotion knows a thing or two about having fun and knows that deep inside everyone is a child waiting to come out and play. From kids who are about to enjoy the vacation from school,  parents and yuppies looking to relax and unwind, people of all age and sizes expect the season to be nothing less than fun all around.  That is why this sun protection expert is doing whatever it takes to get the young and the young at heart to go outside to enjoy some summer fun.
On March 17, the expanse of the Quezon City Memorial Circle will turn into a huge playground as Banana Boat ushers in the summer season with a bang. The Banana Boat Great Outdoor Fun invites families and friends to head on out and bask in the free-spirited fun of the season.
“Banana Boat will welcome the much anticipated summer season on March 17 and we invite families and barkadas to spend that fun-filled day with us,” says Banana Boat Senior Brand Manager Claire Guevarra. “We promise that there will be plenty of exciting activities and good times in store for the entire family,” Guevarra adds.
The event offers a chance to experience the fun and thrill of the great outdoors. By purchasing a PHP250 activity stub, families or friends of four (4) can try out the different rides and activities within the park. This includes Banana Boat products, Banana Boat premium item, free entrance to the Circle of Fun, and lots of fun and recreation hub within the confines of the QMC.

Kids and adults alike can enjoy Circle of Fun’s amenities including free rides on the carousel and bump cars as well as the Pedal and Paddle, a spot that offers pedaled go-karts that can be used  to go around the park or pedaled boats to go around the lagoon. Guests can also admire a bird’s-eye perspective of the grounds on an exhilarating zip-line ride or simply coast on a relaxing bike ride around the area.
Participants can also join a friendly game of Futkal or “Futbol sa Kalye” (Street Football) or learn something fun and new through the kite-making activity. The gang can then immortalize the experience by getting their group picture taken on a free photo booth with a bonus Banana Boat sunscreen lotion for every picture taken. Participants can also get a chance to take home loads of freebies through the different games on stage and enjoy other fun activities including interactive magic and bubble shows.
To make the day even more worthwhile, Banana Boat couples the day’s activities with learning by offering skin care tips to interested participants. By enlisting a dermatologist to hold a talk, the brand offers parents the knowhow on keeping their family’s skin healthy whole year round. This presents a fun and friendly way of knowing more about the dos and don’ts of skincare for the benefit of the entire family.
Indeed, there are plenty of things to do within the 26-hectare expanse of the QMC and the only thing that can get in the way of enjoying every inch of it is the intense heat of the sun. But there’s no need to worry because Banana Boat will also be handing out Banana Boat Sunscreen Lotions to keep participants protected from harmful rays.
With their core products of Banana Boat Ultra Protect SPF-50 and Banana Boat Ultra Protect SPF-80, the brand doesn’t only aim to protect, it also offers an invigorating dose of Aloe Vera, Vitamin C and Vitamin E which takes extra care of the skin. Formulated with its patented AvoTriplex Technology, Banana Boat Sun Screen Lotions makes use of a three-way approach against sunburn using its advanced UVB protection and against long term skin damage with its improved UVA protection which lasts longer than ordinary solutions.
Their line of sunscreen lotions also includes the Banana Boat Sport SPF-50 and SPF-110, designed for active users because of its non-greasy, sweat and water resistant protection. The Banana Boat Kids SPF-50, on the other hand, ensures a mild and gentle, tear free protection.
Summer is right around the corner and there will definitely be tons of adventures and excitement to go along with it. Whatever the sport or activity you’re into, get ready to bask in the glory of the summer sun because with Banana Boat Sunscreen Lotion, we’ve got you covered!
Banana Boat Sunscreen products are available at all Watson’s, health and beauty supermarkets, and drugstores nationwide.
To register and to learn more about the Banana Boat Great Outdoor Fun, please visit our website at or like our Facebook fanpage at