The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has the number of undernourished children, study conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said.

The 2011 National Nutrition Survey noted that the percentage of underweight and underheight children in the region have increased by 1.8% and 3.8% from 2008 to 2011 respectively, stressed Mildred Guirindola, FNRI Senior Science Research Specialist.

The FNRI and DOST in ARMM, last week, conducted a one-day forum in this city on the results of the 2011 survey and gave updates on the nutritional status of the selected.

The survey results show that 26.2% or 3 in every 10 children from 0-5 years old in the region are underweight compared to the 20.2% in the entire country.

It also indicates that 43.5% or about 4 in every 10 children are underheight-for-age or stunted compared to the country’s 33.6%.

“Although it’s a saddening fact that all the five component provinces of the ARMM have prevalence rates higher than the national estimates, we are optimistic that the survey results will be of great help to us especially in policy formulations and directions to address the problem,” said ARMM’s science and technology acting secretary Abdulgalib Halud.

Halud also encourages stakeholders and policy makers in the region particularly international agencies and non-government organizations who have been implementing supplemental feeding and other related programs on children to use these results as their bases for program intervention.

The survey results will be used to track changes in nutritional status of all population groups, monitor malnutrition prevalence among children from 0-5 years old and also monitor and evaluate  nutrition and other related programs of the government, said Guirindola.

With the theme “Fight malnutrition with accurate data, correct information and innovative technologies”, FNRI-DOST conducts National Nutrition Survey after every three years.

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