Did you know that Filipinos are eating less fruits over the years?
This was revealed in the food consumption survey (FCS) conducted in 2008 by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) which showed that fruit consumption has decreased over the past 20 years from an individual intake of 107 grams in 1987 to only 54 grams in 2008.
The survey also revealed that individual fruit intake did not change from 2003 to 2008 at 54 grams.
The amount of 54 grams is about one serving-size banana latundan that contributes about 6.3 percent of the average individual food intake for 2008.
This consumption level is lower than the recommended intake of 2-3 servings of fruits daily.
No wonder that no fruit was included in the list of most commonly-consumed foods of Filipinos in 2008.
Fruits are rich sources of nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber.
Vitamin A is needed for normal vision, promotes growth and boosts immune resistance, while vitamin C increases the body’s resistance to infection, helps keep gums and teeth healthy and acts as antioxidant, among others.
Fiber provides bulk, aids in normal bowel movement, helps in the management of diabetes, lowers cholesterol and may help prevent certain cancers.
However, based on the FCS, Filipinos get most of these nutrients from other food groups, particularly meat, fish and poultry for vitamin A and vegetables for vitamin C and fiber.
The low intake of fruits calls for a more aggressive promotion of fruit consumption and a closer look at the reasons why fruits are not common in the Filipino dining table, including their affordability and availability, as well as the Filipino’s attitude towards eating fruits.
For more information on food and nutrition, contact: Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City; Tel/Fax Num: 8372934 and 8373164; email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org; FNRI-DOST website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph. (FNRI-DOST S & T Media Service: Press Release – CHARINA A. JAVIER)