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The Nutrition and Food Research and Development Division (NFRDD) of the DOST-FNRI organized a dissemination activity in Davao City and Tacloban City on March 4 and 15, 2024, respectively. This marked the culmination of the study “Relationship of Body Composition to the Functional Capacity and Quality of Life of Older Filipinos in Selected Provinces in the Philippines”. This is under the Healthy Aging Program for Pinoy (HAPPY) Senior Citizens: Promoting Quality of Life Among Older Filipinos through Food and Nutrition Solutions. Both cities were part of the data collection conducted in 2022.


The activity, titled “Nutrition for Healthy Aging: Setting the Nutrition Agenda for Healthy Aging and Dissemination of Results”, shared the findings of the study with various stakeholders, including the Local Government Units (LGUs), officials from different organizations, and barangay leaders. Inspirational messages were delivered by the representatives from DOST Regional Offices, City Nutrition Office and the Office of the Senior Citizen Affairs at the event to underscore the importance of the study’s outcomes.


Prominent figures who attended the event in Davao City included Dr. Tomas Miguel S. Ababon (Davao City Health Office Head), Dr. Maria Theresa Ungson (Regional Program Coordinator of National Nutrition Council, Davao Region), Dr. Mary Grace N. Tanjili (Davao Geriatrician), and Pastor Luis R. Moran (OSCA-Region XI President) among others. Representatives from the DOST Region XI, DOH Region XI and NNC Region XI were also in attendance.


In Tacloban City, distinguished guests included Dr. Lucia Dauz (DOST Region VIII Representative), Ms. Maria Lumen P. Tabao (City Nutrition Officer), Dr. Catalino Dotollo (NNC Region VIII Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator), Ms. Laura Pajares (DOH Region VIII Representative), and Ms. Flordelis B. Menzon (OSCA President- Tacloban City). Delegates from DSWD Region VIII Ms. Kaye Justine Quinto and Ms. Yvonne Novillo also attended the event.


The highlights of the study conducted in the cities of Davao and Tacloban were presented by the project leader, Mr. Robby Carlo Tan. He emphasized the study’s goal to serve as a foundation for additional research in the field of healthy aging and be a catalyst towards highlighting the role of food, nutrition and exercise as part of the overall healthy aging framework in the country.


After presenting the report, Mr. Tan actively involved the audience in both Davao and Tacloban, seeking their feedback, reactions, insights and revelations related to the discussed results through an open forum and group discussion. Participants shared their concerns about the nutrition and physical activities of senior citizens, sparking discussion on actionable solutions to address these challenges, such as training of a dedicated Barangay Health Worker (BHW) or Barangay Nutrition Scholar (BNS) to look after the nutritional status of senior citizens. Financial constraints among senior citizens emerged as a common challenge, hindering their access to nutritious food.


After its successful implementation in the first two cities, the DOST-FNRI Aging team will disseminate the results of the said study in Tarlac, another city included in the data gathering phase, this April 2024. The activity is funded by the DOST- Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD).

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