THE Department of Health has advised all Filipinos to avoid overeating fatty, sweet food, and drinking alcohol during the Christmas season to prevent noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) during the Christmas season.
“Let’s refrain from eating too much fatty, sweet, and salty food as well as excessive alcohol drinking,” DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a media forum.
“Let’s remember that anything too much is harmful, so in order to avoid other diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and others, let’s be mindful of what we eat so that we can ensure that Christmas can be celebrated safely,” she added.
Many Filipinos tend to have a feast during the holidays, when they get to spend time with their families and loved ones.
The food during these gatherings tend to be decadent, and many overindulge.
Earlier, Vergeire said that during December, January, and February, the health department sees higher cases of NCDs, including high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes. The increase in these cases is due to the “activities that we have during Christmas,” she noted.
The National Nutrition Council said in 2021 that cardiovascular disorders are the leading cause of death in the Philippines and claim 50,000 lives in the country annually. Compared to populations in other nations, such as the US, the Filipino population has a higher chance of dying from cardiovascular diseases, it said.
Vergeire likewise said that Filipinos should “take things moderately,” especially when eating food that is not part of the proper diet, to avoid these diseases.
She also said that during Christmas, cases of influenza likewise rise due to extreme weather changes. The health department’s OIC, however, advised that Filipinos can ward off these diseases by following minimum public health standards, wearing face masks, and hand washing.