• Melo Acuna

Filipino consumers look for information on nutrition from government websites and health experts

Need for nutrition knowledge cited

MANILA – As the country celebrated Nutrition Month this July, it was learned only 19% of Filipino consumers scored 50% of a general nutrition knowledge quiz conducted by Herbalife Nutrition. The respondents from the Philippines scored lower than the Asia Pacific average of 23%.

The quiz was directed as part of Herbalife Nutrition’s Asia Pacific Nutrition Myths Survey 2020 which was conducted last March with at least 5,500 respondents from Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. The quiz included 48 “True or False” questions from nine nutrition areas - general nutrition, protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, caffeine, weight management and breakfast.

“The results of the quiz and the survey show that there is a significant nutrition knowledge gap among Filipinos. We hope to help close the gap to empower them with the nutrition knowledge they need to make better nutrition choices,” said Sridhar Rajagopalan, Senior Director and sub-regional head, and General Manager of Herbalife Nutrition Philippines.

It was learned only 7% among those surveyed said they were extremely confident about their nutrition knowledge. Fifty-four percent claimed they were somewhat well-informed.

However, Filipino consumers expressed they believe in the importance of balanced nutrition. It is among the top three nutrition advice that they were most interested in along with how to improve ailment/condition through nutrition and managing weight through nutrition.

Rajagopalan said this is a good sign.

“The next step is helping them achieve this,” he added.

Majority of the Filipino respondents (85%) falsely believe that one needs sufficient calcium intake at any age to optimize peak bone mass for bone health.

“Our peak bone mass *max bone size and strength) is dependent on calcium intake and reached its peak by age 30. However, sufficient calcium intake throughout life can reduce the risk of osteoporosis,” Rajagopalan explained.

Sixty-eight percent (68%) answered correctly that fats provide the body with energy but only 42% correctly believed that it helps the body absorb vitamins. Eighty-five (85%) correctly said that exercise helps the body rebuild muscles and increase lean muscles. However, 51% falsely believe that protein power is not a healthy source of protein as compared to protein found in natural foods.

“Protein power can be as good as protein from natural foods if derived from high-quality sources,” he explained. Sor protein from soybeans is a complete protein, providing a full-range of nine essential amino acids for the body’s requirements.

Ninety-four percent (94%) of the Filipino consumers were right in their belief fruits and Vitamin C supplements can help boost immunity and resistance to infection. Among the APAC respondents, they were the highest in this belief.

With 47% of Filipino consumers share the belief that it is extreme important to be informed with property and accurate nutrition knowledge, they said too much misinformation and myths online prevent them from gaining accurate nutrition knowledge (39%). The other top barriers were lack of information from government websites and health authorities (22%) and the lack of information from healthcare professionals (17%). (Melo M. Acuña)

Dr. Chin Kun-Wang, Member of the Nutrition Advisory Board, Herbalife Nutrition. (Eggshell Photo)

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