Category Archives: Health

HEART PROBLEMS: NO LONGER OLD MAN’S DISEASE

Solon, advocates push for Trans Fat Free Philippines Law to ‘protect Pinoy heart’

A group of doctors, lawyers and a lawmaker on Thursday expressed alarm over the rising incidence of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) among younger Filipinos. In a press conference to commemorate World Heart Day, the Philippine Heart Association (PHA) said that Filipinos who suffer from stroke and other heart conditions are getting younger. 

“Heart problems are no longer just old man’s disease,” said Dr. Luigi Segundo, Director of PHA. “There is an alarming trend of Filipinos in their thirties having premature heart attack and stroke,” he added.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

PHA linked CVDs to the high intake of trans fatty acids and a sedentary lifestyle, among other factors. Industrially-produced trans fatty acids or iTFAs are a toxic compound added by food manufacturers to their products to prolong their shelf life. Margarine, baked goods, and instant coffee are just some of the food items known to have high traces of iTFA. 

Heart disease kills 345 Filipinos every day

Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Atty. Ma-anne Rosales-Sto. Domingo of public interest law group ImagineLaw said that CVDs like coronary heart disease and stroke remain to be the top killer in the Philippines. “Every day, 345 Filipinos are killed by heart disease,” she said. “Eliminating trans fat in the Philippine food supply should be a priority to break this deadly chain and improve Filipinos’ heart health,” Atty. Rosales-Sto. Domingo added. 

Dr. John Juliard Go, National Professional Officer of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Philippines, said that iTFA causes heart disease and deaths, and has no known health benefit. Trans fat elimination will save lives and prevent CVDs, according to the WHO. 

“Trans fat elimination is a multi-sectoral work, and we encourage all stakeholders to support and work together to reduce premature deaths from cardiovascular diseases,” Dr. Go urged. 

Trans Fat Free Philippines Law pushed

Early this year, Laguna 1st District Rep. Ann Matibag filed House Bill No. 1485 or the Trans Fat Free Philippines Bill that will prohibit the manufacture, importation, distribution, and sale of processed and prepackaged foods with high trans fat content. 

“The bill will also provide for training for food manufacturers to allow them to switch to healthier fats and oils, and for research on other healthy alternatives,” said Rep. Matibag. 

Counterpart measures were also filed in the Senate by Senators Nancy Binay, Risa Hontiveros, Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla, Jr., and Joel Villanueva. Four other similar measures were filed in the House of Representatives. All bills are pending in their respective Committees on Health.

ImagineLaw urged the House and Senate leadership to act on the said measures. “We urge the health committees of both chambers to set the hearing for the trans fat elimination bills, as soon as possible,” Atty. Rosales-Sto. Domingo said.

“The time to act is now – by removing trans fatty acids from the food [Filipinos] will eat, the risk of them contracting heart disease will be significantly reduced,” Rep. Matibag concluded.

Lung Center of the Philippines: 321 Filipinos Die Every Day Due to Tobacco

Groups urge ‘stronger tobacco control to save lives

“Tobacco control saves lives.” 

This was the message of the state tertiary hospital Lung Center of the Philippines on Tuesday during an art installation of 321 pairs of shoes and slippers in their main lobby to commemorate the 321 Filipinos who die every day due to tobacco-related diseases. 

Lung Center of the Philippines installs 321 pairs of shoes to commemorate 321 Filipino deaths daily due to tobacco.

“We need an ecosystem of policies that will make it easier for Filipinos to quit the deadly habit of smoking,” said Dr. Jessica Catalan-Legarda, Chair for Advocacy of the Lung Center of the Philippines. The art installation is part of the hospital’s World No Tobacco Day activities

“Raising taxes on tobacco products and banning their advertising, promotions, and sponsorships are just some of the policies needed to create a healthier environment for Filipinos,” she added. 

“Quitting smoking is not just a matter of personal responsibility,” said Dr. Glynna Ong-Cabrera, Lung Center of the Philippines’ Smoking Cessation Program Manager and Department of Health (DOH) Quitline Project Director. “Every day, 321 Filipinos die because tobacco companies continue to sell and market their addictive and deadly products,” she said. “Tobacco products are designed to make it difficult for smokers to quit, putting them at risk to develop tobacco-related diseases which may eventually lead to death,” she also said. 

Public interest law group ImagineLaw, co-organizer of the art installation, maintained that “tobacco companies’ business model thrives on addiction and death”. 

“Tobacco companies are neither our friends nor allies,” said Atty. Sophia San Luis, the law group’s executive director. “As we enter into a new administration, we urge our new set of leaders to be vigilant and reject any attempt by the tobacco industry to prevent the implementation or worse, roll back life-saving tobacco control measures,” she said. 

The art installation composed of 321 pairs of footwear is open for viewing until Friday, June 3, 2022.

Booster Shot Done

My daughter and I had our booster shot last December. We are thankful we were able to do our little part to help curb the spread of the virus in the community.

Even if we are vaccinated already, health experts still remind the public to observe the minimum public health standards: frequent hand washing, wearing face masks, practicing social distancing in public or crowded places, and getting yourself vaccinated.

Let’s protect our loved ones and other people the same way we protect ourselves. 🙏

#boosterdose #moderna