HEALTH AND NUTRITION
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Posted on 01/04/2022 15:25
SUS performed almost 30 million nutritional consultations in Primary Care
Food and health are rights guaranteed by the 1988 Constitution, in addition to laws, technical publications and public policies aimed at nutritional support for the population - Photo: MS
In 2021, Brazil performed almost 30 million nutritional consultations in Primary Care (PHC), the Brazilian citizen's gateway to the Unified Health System (SUS). Data from the Ministry of Health are the result of a series of public policies, such as the National Food and Nutrition Policy (PNAN) and the Food and Nutrition Security Policy, which seek to protect food and promote the health of the Brazilian population.
The data were released by the ministry this Thursday (31/03), the day on which the World Day for Health and Nutrition is celebrated. According to the National Registry of Health Establishments (CNES), 37,536 nutritionists work in the SUS and 7,707 are included in Primary Care. Data from the Primary Care Health Information System (SISAB) show that 28.7 million individuals had their nutritional status assessed in PHC in 2021. Already 1.7 million were assessed regarding their dietary status.
According to experts, eating adequate and healthy foods promotes health and prevents disease. Therefore, food and health are rights guaranteed by the 1988 Constitution, in addition to laws, technical publications and public policies aimed at nutritional support for the population. Among them is the National Food and Nutrition Policy (PNAN), which brings a series of guidelines with the objective of taking care related to the promotion and protection of health, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
In addition, Brazil was one of the first countries to build a food guide that brought innovative concepts by adopting the classification of foods by level of processing instead of their nutrient profile. The Food Guide for the Brazilian Population adopted the definition that proposes categorization into four groups: in natura/minimally processed; culinary ingredients; processed foods and ultra-processed foods. Another innovation was to strengthen the culture and encourage healthy eating habits in the country.
In 2019, another manual was launched: the Food Guide for Brazilian Children under 2 years old. Food plays a fundamental role in all stages of life, especially in the early years, which are decisive for the growth and development of the child. The daily challenges of feeding children are addressed in the guide, with guidelines aimed at families, guardians and professionals from different areas, including information on breastfeeding and healthy complementary feeding.
Other publications you can check at the link: Portal of the Secretariat of Primary Health Care
How does all this reach the population?
In the SUS service network, the individual, the family and the community have access to a set of food and nutrition care based on the public policies mentioned at the beginning of the text. And those are just a few.
Check it out below:
• Nutritional counseling for the treatment of diseases and conditions, such as overweight, diabetes and high blood pressure;
• Guidance on the promotion of Adequate and Healthy Eating (encouragement, support and protection), such as the assistance provided to mothers and caregivers of young children, to encourage breastfeeding and for an adequate and healthy food introduction;
• Food and Nutrition Education, such as campaigns and collective activities developed with the community to encourage the consumption of fruits and vegetables;
• Dietary guidelines for the prevention of diseases and injuries related to poor diet and nutrition, such as the care provided to individuals with obesity;
• Prophylactic micronutrient supplementation to prevent specific nutritional deficiencies, such as NutriSUS;
• Diagnosis of eating disorders, deficiencies and nutritional problems, such as the early identification of malnutrition in children and pregnant women;
• Food and Nutrition Surveillance, such as monitoring the food and nutrition scenario of the population to monitor the advance of obesity in adults;
• Diet therapy during hospitalization, such as attention to individuals who need special diets during hospitalization;
• Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition Therapy, such as cases related to home care for bedridden individuals who need nutritional support;
• Nutritional assessment and diagnosis, such as identifying