For years, the people of the Philippines have been in grave danger of a horrible condition. They are suffering from malnutrition, an unhealthy imbalance in an individual’s diet which may result from a lack of certain nutrients being consumed or starvation (Board). Malnutrition has been an issue there for many years as a result of the country’s overwhelming poverty rates (about 27.9 percent of the populace) depriving its people of food, and raging typhoons (such as Super Storm Haiyan) have only exasperated the problem (Calderon). In addition, when the country’s people do have access to food, they rarely have the necessary fruits or vegetables for a balanced diet. Through poverty, a lack of produce, and regular typhoons, malnutrition in the Philippines unleashes widespread health endangerments that range from blindness to death, especially among children.
Many factors play a key role in the country’s malnutrition, but none have been more significant than poverty. As a matter of fact, the government of the Philippines actually refers to poverty as, “… the main driver of such an unkind scenario” (Delfin). The reasoning behind this is simply the effects of poverty itself. Many people don’t earn enough money to buy a decent meal for their family or even themselves, and even when they have enough to pay for a meal they often eat only once a day. Some families are so poor that they actually need the help of their children to feed the family. This can be seen in the case of the Malano family, whose two boys spend their lunch time at school searching for seaweed to sell in the market (Delfin). The Philippines’ overwhelming poverty has been a crucial factor in its malnutrition problem because it resulted in its people being too poor to acquire a healthy amount of food.
On the subject of their food, people in the Philippines do not always go hungry. However, it is the meals they eat that separate this as a problem of malnutrition, and not just starvation. As mentioned before, the Malano family of the island of Antique is just one of many families suffering from poverty in the Philippines. When they do get a chance to eat though, they mention that their typical meal of the day consists of “... five small pieces of dried fish and rice to share” (Delfin). This is troubling to hear, since this diet has a disturbing lack of fruits or vegetables which contain necessary nutrients for the body. Due to this average diet among poor families, many Filipinos are not just suffering from starvation, but also severe amounts of Vitamin A deficiencies, Iron deficiencies, and many other handicaps (Nutrition Country Profiles). This plethora of medical conditions is attributed directly to the fact that these people hardly get enough nutrients to eat. If these issues are not addressed, malnutrition could lead to an even wider variety of health endangerments.
While people of the Philippines may be in an unenviable position, the problem of malnutrition has escalated even...