HEALTHY LYF: Make Health Planning Easy With Centrum Nutri Coach

In life dilemmas we have life coaches to pull ourselves together and make changes in our lives. But not everyone can have one. Health is also an important component of life which enable us to live and feel good longer for us to enjoy life.

But this time health can also be  brought to the right direction with a special virtual coach that will help one plan and achieve goas in keeping oneself and their family healthy. Then Pfizer, one of the largest manufacturer of pharmaceutical medicine had developed something new in their website called the CENTRUM NUTRI COACH!


Pfizer launched last September 26 the Centrum Nutri Coach, an easily accessible on-line tool that will allow Filipinos to keep track of the nutrients they get from what they eat on a daily basis. 

The Centrum Nutri Coach is the first on-line nutrition tracker of its kind tailor-fit to the Filipino lifestyle and diet. 

“Good health and nutrition is really all about eating a variety of food in the right amounts, as prescribed in the Food Pyramid. We usually count calories and fat, but we also need to consider vitamins and minerals, too,’’ said Joy Ong, Pfizer Brand Manager for Centrum. 

An innovative on-line tool, the Centrum Nutri Coach allows you to input exactly what you ate from a variety of food choices that include Filipino favorites like inihaw na pork chop and halo halo into a “virtual” plate. It also takes into consideration other traditional components of health and nutrition like level of physical activity and age.  All this information will then be used to compute for your general state of nutrition and give you tips on how to improve your nutritional habits.  

The launch of the Centrum Nutri Coach comes on the heels of the research study done by the Food and Nutrition Research Instiute (FNRI) which showed that an alarming 70% of Filipino households don’t get the prescribed amount of most vitamins and minerals they need. 

“What we see now is the “double burden of disease”; there is an upsurge in non-communicable disease risk factors like obesity and overweight, in addition to the existing issues of infectious diseases and undernutrition,” said Professor Liezl Atienza from the Institution of Human Nutrition and Food, College of Human Ecology at the University of the Philippines, Los Banos. 

According to Atienza, the “double burden of disease” is common among many low and middle-income countries, and particularly in urban settings. Another rising form of malnutrition is “hidden hunger”, which is a deficiency or total lack of specific nutrients needed by the body. 
Unhealthy eating habits such a low consumption of fruits and vegetables and high  increase in consumption of meat and meat products, coupled with a sedentary lifestyle all contribute to this. 

“We hope that with the launch of the Centrum Nutri Coach, we can make nutrition not just easy and accessible to everyone, but also fun. Now that we, for the first time, can actually have a hand in keeping track of our food intake, we can choose to be healthy,” said Ong.

The Centrum Nutri Coach may be accessed at


The latest nutritional  study, Philippine Nutrition Facts and Figures 2008 done by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute -- DOST  showed that 70% of Filipino households don’t get the right amount of most vitamins and minerals. 

However, alongside this is the finding that there is an increase in incidence of obesity and being overweight.  

Poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle contribute to Filipinos not getting the vitamins and minerals they need and have led to what is known as the “double burden of disease”: there is an upsurge in non-communicable disease risk factors like obesity and overweight, in addition to the existing issues of infectious diseases and undernutrition. 

Filipinos are eating less and less vegetables.  Based on food consumption surveys, Filipinos on average are eating less and less vegetables per day in the last three decades.  From 145 grams per day of vegetables in 1978, consumption has decreased to 110 grams per day in 2008.

Low fruits and vegetable consumption leads to deficiencies in intakes of calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and vitamins  folic acid, Vitamins A , C  and E.

[Source: Presentation of Professor Liezl Atienza, University of the Philippines Los Banos]

The World Health Organization recommends eating a minimum of 400 grams of vegetables and fruits per day which is equivalent to 5 servings per day with 3 servings of vegetables per day.  The WHO recommends this amount for the prevention of non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity, as well as for the prevention and alleviation of several micronutrient deficiencies, especially in less developed countries. 

[Source: World Health Organization: Measuring Intake of Fruits and Vegetables


More than 1.4 billion adults, 20 and older, were overweight. 
Of these overweight adults, over 200 million men and nearly 300 million women were obese. Overall, more than one in ten of the world’s adult population was obese. 
Overweight and obesity are the fifth leading risk for global deaths. At least 2.8 million adults die each year as a result of being overweight or obese. 
In addition, 44% of the diabetes burden, 23% of the ischaemic heart disease burden and between 7% and 41% of certain cancer burdens are attributable to overweight and obesity.

Causes of obesity
An increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat, salt and sugars but low in vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients; and 
A decrease in physical activity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation, and increasing urbanization

World Health Organization: Obesity and Overweight Face Sheet

Checking for obesity:  There are two ways to check for obesity:
Body Mass Index or (BMI) is a measure for obesity: 
BMI  greater than or equal to:
25 is overweight
30 is obesity
World Health Organization: Obesity and Overweight Face Sheet

Waistline measurement is an indicator of abdominal obesity
More than 90 cm (35 inches) for men 
More than 80 cm (31 inches) for women 
Source: The Asia Pacific Perspective: Redefining obesity and its treatment. World Health Organization. International associaton for the study of obesity and International obesity task force. International Diabetes Institute, Melbourne: World Health Organization, Western Pacific Region; 2000.


Also known as “hidden hunger”
Deficiency or absolute lack of a specific nutrient caused by inadequate intake of food or illness

[Source: Presentation of Professor Liezl Atienza, UP Los Banos]

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