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Stop Obesity with 5-2-1-0!

By Sylvia C Estrada MD FPP

2 mins to read Dec 3, 2021

In 2020, 39 million children less than 5 years of age were assessed as overweight or obese 1.  It is a known fact that obesity is a risk factor for serious health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

With the rising sedentary lifestyle and limited healthy food options, how do we keep children’s weight within the healthy range while making them grow to their full potential? Is there a magic pill to ensure optimal growth? How can one stop obesity?

It is time to go back to basics: feed your children good balanced meals and encourage healthy eating habits.

Pinggang Pinoy 2  is a food guide that provides the recommended meals for different age groups to ensure optimal growth. It gives the prescribed amount of:

  • “GO” food or carbohydrates (33%)
  • “GROW” food or proteins (17%), and
  • “GLOW” food or fruits (17%) and vegetables (33%)


which are designed to provide the essential nutrients for the gut microbiome which helps digest food properly and provide the body with essential energy. Appropriate and sustained nutrition ensures better health, less infection, less school absences and results in better growth and development. 

While good nutrition is the core of health, other factors such as physical activity, adequate sleep, stress free and nurturing environment and the absence of illness are factors that contribute to wellness, health and optimal growth. To increase indoor physical activity, encourage a dedicated family fitness or gardening hour, which doubles as family bonding time! The mnemonic “5-2-1-0” 3 is a reminder of the essentials of healthy living:

  • ensure the intake 5 portions of vegetables and fruits daily (2 servings of vegetables and 3 servings of fruit);
  • limit recreational screen time (gadget use) to less than 2 hours per day;
  • 1 hour or more of daily physical activity or outdoor play and,
  • ZERO intake of sugary drinks


Adopt and live “5-2-1-0” and Pinggang Pinoy now. Feed your children well and watch them grow to their full potential. Be part of the solution: stop obesity now.