Many Filipino families store and opt for instant noodles because it is cheaper and much easier to prepare.
KAMI learned that while instant noodles bring more convenience, it can also give harmful effects to one’s health, most especially to children.
In a report by French news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP), Asian countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia have an average of 40% of children aged 5 and below who are malnourished.
“Parents believe that filling their children’s stomach is the most important thing. They don’t really think about an adequate intake of protein, calcium or fiber,” Indonesian public health expert Hasbullah Thabrany said.
According to UNICEF, the harm being done to children is both a symptom of “past deprivation” and “predictor of future poverty.”
Meanwhile, iron deficiency can also affect the kid’s ability to learn and could increase the risk of a woman’s death during or shortly after childbirth.
“Noodles are easy. Noodles are cheap. Noodles are quick and an easy substitute for what should have been a balanced diet,” UNICEF Asia nutrition specialist Mueni Mutunga said.
She also explained that the instant noodles that cost as little as P12 per pack are low on nutrients and micronutrients like iron and have high fat and salt content.
Aside from instant noodles, sugar-rich biscuits, beverages, and fast-food restaurants are also becoming problems in these countries.
According to the health experts, “poverty is the key issue” why many Asian families opt for instant noodles, noting that parents are also busy with work and prefer quickly made meals.
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