Implementation for the Nutritional Facts on the menu of Fast-food and Dining Restaurants

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Due to the increasing rate of the population and progress for modernization of the Philippines, there is also an increasing demand for convenience in our daily lives where service of food is one of them. This led to the expansion of the Philippine foodservice industry in the forms of fast-food restaurants and dining restaurants. Business owners are highly competitive where the businesses would always think of something new to try to beat its fellow competitors. In this case, owners of the restaurant would always think of something new for their own menus to try to beat its fellow competitors.

According to the IFEX Philippines, food accounts for nearly half of the overall output of our country’s manufacturing sector, which contributes around 23-24% of the annual GDP. It is expected that retail sector such as the restaurants is expected to contribute one-fifth of the Philippines’ GDP by 2020. With an annual growth rate of 8-10%, the sector is one of the prioritized sectors for attracting foreign investments. As of 2016, the Philippines’ food manufacturing growth is the second fasted among ASEAN countries.

Dr. Anthony Leachon, the DOH consultant, said that the recommended calorie intake for women is 1,500 and 2,000 for men. Food labeling product shows that 27% of Filipino adults are overweight in 2008 and at least 17% of Filipino children were also found overweight.

Behind the delicious food that the restaurants in the Philippines serve, it is certain that you cannot deny the fact that the diabetes is one of the common diseases that the Filipinos encounter. According to International Diabetes Federation Atlas, there were already 3.9 million diabetic Filipinos when the population was 65 million. With the current population now over 100 million, local experts estimate that we should have more than 5 million diagnosed diabetics. A similar number will likely remain undiagnosed or have pre-diabetes.

The Department of Health (DOH) encourages everyone to have a healthy diet as to why they always lead an annual Nutrition Month every month of July where they campaign that Filipinos should be aware with the calories and nutrients intake. The Nielsen Shopper Trends Report reveals a 13% decline in monthly grocery spends of Filipino respondents in 2014 compared to 2012. From a monthly spend of P5,400 in 2012, Filipino shoppers only spent P4,700 on an average in 2014. Having that said, Filipinos tend to flock to fast-food restaurants and convenience stores to get their meals.  However, how would the citizens be aware of their calorie and nutrient intake if citizens are uncertain with the nutrients and calories in each the meals they ordered. Fast-food restaurants and restaurants lack the nutritional facts on their menu where only approximates are used because proportion sizes per food differ per meal.

A possible solution for this is to require fast-food restaurants and convenience stores in the Philippines to include specific nutritional facts on their menu especially calories in every product they sell. This is the simplest way of promoting health consciousness thus help people be aware of their food intake and prevent health problems such as diabetes by achieving the recommended calories and nutrients intake per day.

We would like to address this to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) because they are responsible for the protection of the citizens’ health by regulating and facilitating the food products distributed to the citizens.