In the Philippines, the stunting rate has remained at 33% for almost a decade. The Philippines ranks fifth among countries in the East Asia and Pacific Region with the highest stunting prevalence and one of the top 10 countries with the highest number of stunted children in the world. 
The first five years are considered a critical growth period for every child, and if growth issues remain unaddressed, children become at risk of not achieving their maximum growth potential and may experience long-term effects on their health, school performance and future work capacity.
In line with Abbott’s commitment to support Filipino families in ensuring proper growth and nutrition in their children, PediaSure Plus has launched a new formulation which now includes two key growth nutrients – Arginine and Natural Vitamin K2.
The role of nutrients such as Vitamin D, calcium, protein, and fiber are well-known and of the utmost importance when it comes to a child’s growth and development. Vitamin D and calcium both contribute to building strong, healthy bones in children, fiber is important for supporting a healthy digestive system, and protein plays an essential role in many bodily functions, including recovery and repair of tissues in the muscles, skin, organs, blood, hair and nails. But lesser known nutrients like Arginine and Vitamin K2 are necessary in supporting linear growth.
The new PediaSure Plus now includes Arginine and Natural Vitamin K2 to support catch-up growth in children who need it. Scientific research in preclinical studies show that Arginine may play a role in linear growth via release of growth hormone, an important modulator of linear growth, and that children who received more arginine were shown to grow faster. Additionally, Vitamin K2 is an important nutrient that delivers and binds calcium to bones and ultimately, helps build stronger bones.
“Without proper nutrition, growth faltering or even stunted growth can occur in children, leading to illness and cognitive development issues which have serious consequences later in life,” said Dr. Jose Rodolfo Dimaano Jr., medical director of nutrition at Abbott. “The good news is that stunting can be prevented. Genes partly determine growth but environmental factors, especially nutrition, help children reach their full growth potential.”
“The first five years offer a window of opportunity for parents to prepare a strong foundation for their child’s future. It is in the first five years of life that children achieve 60% of their adult height. It is important for parents to measure and monitor their child’s growth and make sure that proper nutrition is given early in life,” he added.
“Abbott is committed to solving nutrition problems across all age groups. Guided by our mission to help people live healthier and better lives, we strive to help Filipinos get the adequate nutrition that they need. Amidst the challenges we experienced earlier this year, it’s important for us to stay connected and well-informed to obtain expert tips on nutrition and food to help their kids stay active and healthy.” said Stephen Garbanzos, general manager of Abbott’s nutrition business in the Philippines.
COMPLETE AND BALANCED NUTRITION IS IMPORTANT FOR CHILD’S GROWTH
Undernutrition has long-term effects on individuals and societies including poor cognitive development, less income, recurring illness and poor self-esteem. The consequence is largely irreversible if not corrected during the early years of life. If stunting persists after age of 5, a child remains shorter than their peers and is unlikely to ever catch up fully.
An oral nutritional supplement like the new PediaSure Plus can help provide the proper nutrition a child needs by helping to fill nutritional gaps. PediaSure Plus is clinically proven, with 37 growth nutrients and triple protein complex, now with arginine and natural vitamin K2 to support muscle and bone growth.
 UNICEF, WHO, World Bank: Joint child malnutrition estimates (JME). Aggregation is based on UNICEF, WHO, and the World Bank harmonized dataset (adjusted, comparable data ) and methodology. https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SH.STA.STNT.ZS