Notes to broadcasters
People living with HIV/AIDS need to be encouraged to eat enough of the right kinds of foods every day. Radio broadcasters can help by offering up-to-date information about diets and nutrition, and a place to talk with doctors, nurses and other medical professionals on this subject. The background information below provides some guidelines for a healthy diet for people living with HIV/AIDS. It can be used to prepare dramas or as background research for interviews about nutrition and HIV/AIDS with health professionals.
The background information can also be used to produce public service announcements or promos (sometimes called spots). Public service announcements are brief messages intended to promote an event or raise awareness about an important issue. These recorded messages are often relatively short – anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes – and are repeated at various times throughout the program day, sometimes for days or weeks at a time. They can also serve as a useful break between regular programs. PSAs can be presented in a variety of different formats.
The background guidelines are followed by two short stories that serve as examples of the kinds of dramatized programs you can produce about nutrition and HIV/AIDS.
Background information for radio PSAs on HIV/AIDS and nutrition
(Source: Adapted from Nutrition, HIV and AIDS: a handbook for Pacific Island health workers, 1999.)
It is very important for people with HIV/AIDS to maintain a healthy body and immune system for as long as possible. It is vital to nourish the body with a well-balanced, nutritious diet. A good diet includes at least some food every day from the following three food groups:
- Foods for body building
- Foods for protection
- Foods for energy
Foods for body building are meat, fish, milk products and legumes. These foods help to repair tissues. Fruits and vegetables provide important nutrients for the body’s protection. And staple foods provide energy. It is important to help people living with HIV/AIDS choose their food so that they have enough of the main food groups. One serving is about the amount that would cover the palm of your hand.
Foods for energy (starch, carbohydrates and fibre)
5 servings a day
- Maize, rice, millet, sorghum, porridge, flour, pasta
- Root crops of all kinds such as yams, cassava, sweet potato, taro
- Starchy fruits such as banana, plantain, breadfruit and sago palm
Foods for body building (protein and minerals)
3 servings a day
- All kinds of meat, including chicken, pork, beef, birds, lizards
- All kinds of sea and river foods – fish, shellfish, sea slugs, and others
- All kinds of eggs
- Cheese (all kinds) and yoghurt
- Fresh and dried peas, beans, groundnuts, dhal, tree nuts
Foods for protection (vitamins, minerals and fibre)
5 servings a day
- Green leafy vegetables
- Yellow and orange vegetables – pumpkins, carrots, sweet potato
- Fresh fruits: yellow and orange coloured fruits such as bananas, mangoes, and papaya have the most nutrients
- Green and yellow vegetables are a good source of Vitamin A which plays an important role in keeping the immune system healthy
- Citrus fruits and tomatoes are good sources of Vitamin C which is also important for keeping the immune system healthy
Refined sugar should only be used in small amounts. All kinds of sugar and sweets, sweet biscuits, cakes, chocolate, sweet drinks and any foods containing a lot of sugar should only be eaten in small amounts because they may be replacing healthy foods.
Fats and oils should only be used in small amounts unless the person needs to gain a substantial amount of weight. Vegetable oils are preferred over animal fats. Fats and oils include:
- Butter, margarine, cooking oils
Many foods are high in fats and oils including coconut cream, fatty meats, and takeaway foods such as chips, pizza, fatty and fried foods.
Water is very important for the proper functioning of the body, for growth and good health. Healthy drinks will keep the body hydrated and working well. People with HIV/AIDS need about 9 cups of liquid every day. If it’s very hot or a person is doing a lot of exercise they will need another 3 cups of liquids. If a person has diarrhea he or she will need to drink even more. Drinking should be encouraged between meals as too much liquid with meals can spoil the appetite. The water should be clean. If no clean water is available, boil it for at least 5 minutes to kill most germs.
Healthy drinks include:
- Water or green coconut water
- Vegetable and fruit juices
- Milk and soya milk drinks
Susan:Eleena, why are you crying? What’s wrong?
– END –
Contributed by Adiat Junaid, Toronto, Canada and Jennifer Pittet, Thornbury, Canada.
Reviewed by Reviewed by Hélène Delisle, Department of Nutrition, University of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Nutrition, HIV and AIDS: a handbook for Pacific Island health workers, 1999. HIV/AIDS & STD Project, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, BP D5, 98848 Noumea Cedex, New Caledonia. Fax: +687 26 38, E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE), 555 Richmond St. West, Suite 505, Toronto, Canada M5V 3B1. E-mail: email@example.com.