Misunderstanding About 4 Healthy 5 Perfect

Society is wrong in understanding the slogan “4 Healthy 5 Perfect”. One reason is the existence of textbooks that incorrectly explain the concept of a healthy diet.

This was conveyed by the lecturer of the Department of Public Health Nutrition, Faculty of Public Health, University of Indonesia, Dr. Endang Achadi MPH, as a speaker at the 2009 International Nutrition Symposium and the 6th Asia Pacific Clinical Nutrition Conference in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Monday (12/10).

According to him, the public misunderstanding was illustrated by the results of research on people’s understanding of a balanced diet carried out in 10 districts/cities in Indonesia in 2009.

“Respondents included 100 elementary school students in grade IV, and V. Most students considered a balanced diet to be four perfectly healthy. They know that vitamins are important, but some students think that cheap fruits are not vitamins, while rich fruits are vitamin. Most worrying, the students consider milk to be complete, “said Endang.

Some students did not consider carbohydrate sources other than rice to be consumed to replace rice. “Mi, for example, is considered a side dish and all students take snacks at school,” he said.

Parents and teachers understand a balanced diet as four perfect five healthy. “There are science books for class III and class V defining a balanced diet as four perfectly healthy 5. There is no explanation that a balanced diet includes exercise, or drinking lots of water. There is a book stating that children must drink milk because the nutritional content of vegetables is reduced when cooked. “The impression is that the nutritional content of milk does not change when cooked,” he said.

As the questioner, nutritionist from the University of Indonesia, Prof. Dr. Walujo Soerjodibroto MSc Ph.D. SpGk (K) reminded, the slogan 4 Healthy 5 Perfect is the concept of nutrition best known to the public and gives direction on healthy eating patterns. The idea of a balanced diet is too abstract, technical, also for nutritionists.

“We always say, pregnant women must live a balanced diet, sufferers of certain diseases live a balanced diet. Then what is the meaning of a balanced diet? Maybe it’s a term that doesn’t mean anything, “said Walujo.

He stated, he did not refuse to straighten up an understanding of eating patterns and a healthy life, but nutritionists should give direction to a more concrete lifestyle than using the term “balanced diet”.

“I don’t say the concept of 4 Healthy 5 Perfect is good. However, discarding the concept of 4 Healthy 5 Perfect and replacing it with the concept of a balanced diet is confusing. The term balanced diet does not provide any reference to behavior. As for 4 Healthy 5 Perfect, at least provide behavioral direction. Maybe the understanding of ‘5 Perfect’ needs to be replaced, so as not to cause perception, not drinking milk is not healthy, “said Walujo.