Fortified nutribun, other nutritious foods launched to combat malnutrition

·Contributor
·2 min read
Nutribun, a USAID project in the Philippines during the 1970s claimed by the Marcoses as theirs, was relaunched on Sunday (September 11) by Senator Imee Marcos to combat malnutrition among children. (Photo: Senator Imee R. Marcos/Facebook)
Nutribun, a USAID project in the Philippines during the 1970s claimed by the Marcoses as theirs, was relaunched on Sunday (September 11) by Senator Imee Marcos to combat malnutrition among children. (Photo: Senator Imee R. Marcos/Facebook)

Senator Imee Marcos on Sunday (September 11) leads the distribution of fortified nutribun to children and their families in three pilot areas in the Philippines as part of a three-month feeding program to counter malnutrition.

Around 3,000 children aged 3 to 5 are expected to be the beneficiaries of this program, while the municipal health and social welfare offices are the ones tasked to distribute the nutribun through a community-based barangay nutrition scholars approach.

Beneficiaries have also been selected in her home province of Ilocos Norte, and in Cebu, as part of the program’s pilot testing.

Nutribun, a US Agency for International Development (USAID) program now commonly associated with the regime of the senator’s father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr., was used to combat malnutrition in the 1970s.

Now, the “leveled up” nutribuns, fortified with protein and vitamins A, B1, and C, will help resolve malnourishment and hunger among children brought about by the current pandemic.

Aside from the nutribun, they are also launching a protein-rich porridge or lugaw for younger children, dried and other nutritious drinks.

Nagbago na kasi profile ng malnutrition sa Pilipinas. Nakita natin na ang talagang matinding pagkukulang ng sustansya ay nasa tinatawag na 1,000 days. Ibig sabihin, hanggang three years old,” Marcos said during the pilot testing program in Tanay, Rizal.

(The profile of malnutrition in the Philippines has changed. We saw that a severe lack of nutrition happens in the first 1,000 days. Meaning, until three years old.)

Kapag hindi sapat ang sustansya, talagang hindi lumalaki. Pero mas malala, hindi rin nagde-develop ang kanyang utak, nagkakaroon ng brain stunting. Huwag naman natin gawin sa ating mga anak yan,” she added.

(If nutrition is not enough, a child doesn’t grow properly. What’s worse is that their brains also don’t develop, resulting in brain stunting. Let’s not do that to our children.)

Marcos is enjoining everyone to participate in her program.

Sana magkaisa tayo at wala nang batang gutom o kulang sa timbang,” Marcos said.

(Let us unite and hope that no children will be hungry anymore, or lacking in weight.)

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates. The views expressed are his own.

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