DOH tips for safe holiday celebration


Have a safe and healthy holiday season.

Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona today advised the public to watch out for their health during the Christmas and New Year festivities to prevent and control non-communicable diseases (NCDs) or lifestyle-related diseases.

Data from the 2006 Philippine Health Statistics revealed that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are among the leading causes of death. These include diseases of the heart (ranked # 1), diseases of the vascular systems (ranked # 2), malignant neoplasms (ranked #3), chronic lower respiratory diseases (ranked #7), and diabetes mellitus (ranked #8).

“Cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, and diabetes mellitus, the four major non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the country are linked by four most common and preventable risk factors related to lifestyle – tobacco use, unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity and alcohol use,” Secretary Ona elaborated.

A study conducted by the FNRI (Food and Nutrition Research Institute) National Nutrition Surveys revealed that from 2003 to 2008 hypertension and diabetes prevalence have increased; hypertension from 22% to 25% and diabetes from 3.4% and 4.8%. This study also showed an increase in the consumption of foods high in fats and sugars and a low level of physical activity among almost the entire adult population.

The health chief enumerated twelve ways of ensuring a healthy and stress-free holiday season. Ona encouraged everyone to:

1) Prepare early, avoid the Christmas rush to prevent stress (Maghanda nang maaga para sa makahulugan na Kapaskuhan upang ang Stress ay maiwasan.);

2) Make sure to give children toys which are safe and appropriate to their age and abilities (Magregalo sa mga bata ng mga laruan na ligtas at angkop sa kanilang edad at abilidad.);

3) Buy only legitimate and registered products to ensure safety (Bumili lamang ng mga produktong lehitimo at rehistrado upang ligtas na Kapaskuhan ay masigurado.);

4) Prepare healthy food, including vegetables and fruits, for Noche Buena and Media Noche (Noche Buena at Media Noche ay paghandaan,masustansyang pagkain,gulay at prutas ang ihain sa kainan.);

5) Make sure that foods to be served are unspoiled and fresh to avoid food poisoning (Mga pagkain na ihahanda ay tiyaking malinis at sariwa upang ang inyong pamilya’y siguradong ligtas sa food poisoning.);

6) Attend every festivity but make sure to eat moderately (Dumalo sa bawat salo-salo sa Pasko, ngunit sapat lamang na pagkain sa plato ang bantayan mo.);

7) Avoid fatty and salty foods for a healthy heart (Umiwas sa labis na matataba at maaalat na pagkain upang puso at pangangatawan ay manatiling malusog.)

8) Have fun and enjoy the holidays but stay sober and drink moderately. Do not drink and drive.Magsaya at magdiwang kung Kapaskuhan subalit labis na pag-inom ng alak at mga nkalalasing na inumin ay iwasan. Huwag magmaneho ng sasakyan kapag naka-inom ng alak.)

9) Engage in regular exercise like walking, jogging and dancing to keep fit (Maglakad, tumakbo, sumayaw o regular na mag-ehersisyo para sa masigla ang katawan sa Pasko.);

10) Have enough rest and sleep (Pahinga at sapat na oras ng pagtulog ay kailangn sa mahabang panahon nang kasayahan sa Kapaskuhan.);

11) Avoid accidents due to firecrackers/fireworks (Aksyon: Paputok Injury Reduction Umiwas sa disgrasya dulot ng paputok.); and

12) Have a safe Christmas and New Year celebration(Aksyon: Paputok Injury Reduction Magdiwang ng Pasko at Bagong Taon ng ligtas).

“We consider non-communicable diseases (NCDs) a major public health concern that entails lifelong treatment and major lifestyle changes. This is why prevention is the most effective way to deal with these diseases,” Ona concluded, adding that this holiday season is the perfect time to start living healthy.(DOH)


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