Abbott's Growth Watch Initiative Empowers Parents to Curb Childhood Stunting

Abbott is banding with communities to raise awareness, and offer online tools, educational resources, nutrition assessment and counselling to promote childhood growth

Global statistics show childhood malnutrition is still a persistent health burden. Childhood stunting is a health issue in the Philippines, and 2 in 3 moms are unaware of the long-term effects of stunting on childhood growth.

According to the Department of Health, 1 in 4 children aged five and below are short for their age or stunted. Abbott is increasing awareness and working together with mom celebrities and communities to tackle stunting among Filipino children so that they may achieve their full potential.

Abbott's Growth Watch initiative shines a light on childhood stunting, a form of malnutrition. It aims to empower parents to screen for stunting in their children, recognize growth retardation, mitigate problem through early intervention---by improving their children's nutrition if needed.

Stunting can challenge a child's development, impact their overall health and limit their future potential. Children affected by stunting can be at risk of significant immune deficiencies, compromised cognitive function, behavioral problems, diminished bone health, and decreased muscle mass. The Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition 2023-2028 identified poor eating practices and low nutrition literacy among the causes of malnutrition in the country. Additionally, 2 in 3 Filipino moms don't recognize stunting as an important child development issue.

"There is a clear need to educate parents on the prevalence and impact of childhood stunting and development," explains Dr. Jose Dimaano Jr., nutrition medical affairs director for Abbott in Pacific Asia. "Early identification of growth issues and quick intervention for children found to be at risk of nutrition deficiency can have a profound impact on the fight against stunting. This is why Abbott is taking a multidisciplinary approach in supporting parents by working with communities and health care practitioners to provide tools and information to spot the signs of malnutrition and take action."

Last June 13, 2024, Abbott invited broadcaster Ms. Nina Corpuz and actress Ms. Karel Marquez in an intimate media event centered on debunking the 8 myths that surrounds child growth and nutrition.

In collaborating with celebrity moms, influencers and online mom communities, Abbott intends to increase awareness of stunting and support parents with tools and educational resources that can help children reach their full growth potential.

"Since its inception in 2021, Growth Watch has educated and reached more than 161,000 families, and the goal is to double the reach by the end of next year," said Angelico Escobar, general manager of Abbott's nutrition business in the Philippines. "Abbott is driven by our mission to help children have a healthy start and reach their optimal growth. We know that malnutrition is complex and affects children's growth across all socioeconomic classes. The work of Growth Watch is one of Abbott's efforts to fight global malnutrition and to help children achieve their growth potential through measurement and proper nutrition."

In 2021, Abbott launched the Abbott Center for Malnutrition Solutions, an initiative to reduce malnutrition. The center, a collaboration between Abbott and external experts and partners, is focused on the identification, treatment and prevention of malnutrition for the most vulnerable populations in the world including children, aging adults and under-resourced populations. The Growth Watch initiative also contributes toward Abbott's 2030 Sustainability Plan goal to transform care for malnutrition, chronic and infectious diseases.

As part of the Growth Watch initiative, parents and guardians are invited to join mom communities to establish the habit of measuring their children's height, and provide proper nutrition to safeguard the growth, well-being and development of children across the country.

Tools and resources available include:

•PediaSure Plus Growth Calculator

•PediaSure Plus Height Chart

•Free growth assessment and nutrition counseling

Nutrition plays a crucial role in addressing malnutrition and stunting challenges. Addressing undernutrition early can help mitigate growth issues and ensure children reach their full developmental capacity. For children who do not get enough nutrients through food alone, nutrition supplements, such as PediaSure Plus, can help fill some of the gaps. The oral nutritional supplement, recommended by doctors, is formulated with 37 key growth nutrients including natural vitamin K2 and arginine to support 1.5 times faster growth in 8 weeks and strong bones.

Do visit for more information on the growth tools and resources.

For free growth assessment and nutrition counseling, register online or call Abbott's Careline - Metro Manila: (o2) 8995-1555 and PLDT toll free hotline: 1-800-10-995-1555.