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Poor learning abilities and poor health of young adults are being traced to malnutrition, and neglect during early childhood years. Recent studies show that cognitive and psychosocial skills, nutrition and health status at young ages have impact on educational attainment, earnings, and employment outcomes of young adults later in life.

The Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) of the Department of Science andTechnology (DOST) implemented from May 2000 to September 2002 the Baseline Survey and Data Generation on the utritional Status, Psychosocial Development and Care of the 0-6 Year-Old Children in the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Provinces through the administration of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and with the financial support of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Recognizing the wealth of the data set collected from this undertaking, the DSWD through the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) again, commissioned the FNRI-DOST to conduct an in-depth analysis through the Study entitled: Correlation Analysis of Children’s Nutritional Status, Dietary Intake and Psychosocial Development, and Pregnant and Lactating Mothers’ Dietary Intake in the ECD and on-ECD Program Areas. This Study is composed of four sub-studies that dissect the wealth of the ECD Baseline Survey data set, namely: (1) In-Depth Study on the Psychosocial Development of Preschoolers in the ECD and Selected Non-ECD Areas; (2) Correlates of Feeding Practices of Young Children in ECD and Selected Non-ECD Areas; (3) An Exploratory Study on the Determinants of Dietary Intake of Pregnant and Lactating Mothers in ECD and Selected Non-ECD Areas; and (4) Determinants of Nutritional Status of Children in the ECD and Selected Non-ECD Areas.

Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) remains a major public health problem in the Philippines despite the implementation of a large-scale iron supplementation program. In the Philippines, the prevalence of IDA among 6-12 year old children is 35.6%. In May 2003, the Department of Social Welfare and Development through the Early Childhood Development Project commissioned the Nutrition Center of the Philippines (NCP) to conduct a study on the efficacy of pandesal baked from wheat flour fortified with iron and/or vitamin A which needed 264 subjects.

Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is one of the most recognized micro-nutrient problems in the Philippines. It may be caused by inadequate iron intake, low iron bio-availability, inability to meet increased physiologic demands in early childhood and pregnancy, and
iron losses from parasitic infection. If left untreated, IDA has serious consequences such as reduced learning capacity and growth in children, decreased resistance to infection, greater risk of death associated with pregnancy and childbirth, and reduced work
capacity.

The Philippine Government, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), has been undertaking the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Project to enable local government units (LGUs) in the country to deliver more improved services for children aged 0-6 years and pregnant mothers. Through technical and financial support, the government seeks to enhance the capabilities of LGUs to plan, manage and evaluate ECD programs in their respective areas of jurisdiction. The project has three components: (a) Service Delivery – a program of support for province-wide implementation and an LGU financing facility to provide essential ECD services of good quality to children; (b) programs support to LGUs consisting of training, planning, targeting and maintenance of an ECD management information system; and (c) R&D activities needed to support effective ECD program, including a pilot of the proposed interventions, research and testing, and monitoring and evaluation. PLEASE ON THE DOWNLOAD FOR THE FULL TEXT

Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) and vitamin A deficiency (VAD) are recognized micronutrient problems. In the Philippines, the prevalence of IDA among 6-month to 5-year old children is 31.8%, making it a public health problem of moderate magnitude. The prevalence of sub-clinical VAD among 6-month to 5-year old children is 38.0%; thus, VAD remains to be a problem of public health significance. Fortification of commonly eaten staple foods is one of the interventions being pursued by the Philippine government as a means to combat micro-nutrient problems. The dual fortification of wheat flour with iron and VA has been proven feasible and
would clearly have potential benefit in addressing both IDA and VAD simultaneously. VA-fortified pandesal has been proven to improve the VA status of Filipino school children. The ultimate step is to evaluate the efficacy of combined iron and VA in reducing IDA.

The lack of hard scientific evidence on the effects of iodized salt in selected processed Philippine foods prompted the Department of Social Welfare and Development, through the Early Child Development Project of the Council for the Welfare of Children (DSWD-ECD-CWC), to contract the services of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) to conduct the study in collaboration with food processors. The study aimed to evaluate the physico-chemical, sensory and microbiological properties of dried salted fish, cured meat products, fermented small shrimps (bagoong-alamang) and anchovies (bagoong-dilis), and pickled cucumber salted with iodized and uniodized salt. The study also aimed to assess the stability and quality of test food products during storage using packaging materials commonly used for packing, storing and marketing. CLICK THE DOWNLOAD FOR THE FULL TEXT

 

Programs that remedy critical early childhood deficiencies are fundamental, not only to the success of each child in life, but also to the success of society as a whole. It is not surprising that policy makers and parents alike have now joined health, education, and nutrition specialists in acknowledging the importance of integrated early childhood interventions—programs designed to improve children’s health and nutrition and to stimulate their minds from the earliest years. Click DOWNLOAD for full text

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