Amway pushes Nutrilite to supplement Filipino diet

By Felicia Recto, Mia Rodriguez, and Alyssa Divina / Special to the BusinessMirror

FOR the past several years, Filipinos have been facing a major dilemma: Are we really eating the right way?

In a round-table discussion held in Greenbelt 5 last week, Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) Senior Science Research Specialist Divorah Aguila told members of the media that Filipinos don’t know what to eat in terms of nutrient-giving foods.

“Economists would say our gross domestic product is increasing, but this is not being translated to the food intake of Filipinos,” Aguila said. “We could assume, therefore, that perhaps with our mindset, Filipinos simply don’t know what to eat to meet our daily requirement.”

Aguila said a typical Filipino diet consists of a cup and two-and-a-half tablespoons of rice, two matchbox-sized fried fish, and a half-cup of boiled vegetables. While this has all the components of a balanced meal, it is not enough to meet the daily nutritional requirements needed for a healthy diet.

Research from the FNRI has shown a rise-and-fall trend in the intake of nutritious foods by Filipinos from 1978 to 2013. Currently, it is on a downward scale.

Rice continues to be the most consumed food product by households, which is a major contributor to the rise of protein and niacin concentrations in the Filipino diet. Because of this, other nutrients are being forgone, especially calcium which is being consumed at only 11 percent. Statistics also show that only one-third of households are meeting the energy requirement, and 8 out of 10 families don’t eat the recommended five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

Aguila also said children are more prone to undernutrition, while adults are more affected by overnutrition. She said pregnant and/or lactating women and pre-school children are “the most vulnerable.”

Several reasons can be attributed to this disjunct, such as purchasing power—which can influence the kinds of food consumed based on what people can afford—and the lack of awareness on how to create a balanced diet. Aguila said it is also especially hard to plan balanced meals for families.

Because ensuring a healthy diet among Filipinos is a major issue, health and lifestyle company Amway, through their brand Nutrilite, decided to provide their own solution to the problem by promoting health awareness through their products.

For this year’s Nutrition Month, the company will promote their dietary supplement Double X, which contains 11 essential vitamins, 9 essential nutrients and 12 phytonutrient-rich concentrates from five different fruit-and-vegetable groups that target specific health needs of the body.

Nutrilite Assistant Product Manager Mia Jamisola said the company will also hold a month-long session and special lectures to complement the research of the FNRI. She said there will also be certificate courses for Amway business owners, and a basic training for Nutrilite will be held nationwide.

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