Dagupan City’s inmates whip up heart-healthy meals in epic cook-off!

Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) in Dagupan City joined a cooking contest for heart-healthy meals to promote healthy and balanced eating.

Move over, celebrity chefs! Dagupan City’s inmates recently showed off their cooking skills in the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Recipe and Cooking Contest held on May 31.

With 10 groups of Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) participating, the event aimed to underscore the importance of a healthy diet, promoting overall well-being for both body and mind.

Out of the participants, six were chosen as semifinalists. The top chefs took home cash prizes: Php5,000 for first place, Php4,000 for second, and Php3,000 for third, with Php1,000 consolation prizes for the non-winners.

“We chose to implement the activity among our PDLs to introduce and recommend the preparation of diets that prevent hypertension and other non-communicable diseases,” explained Department of Health (DOH) – Ilocos Region Director Paula Paz Sydiongco.

Sydiongco also emphasized the importance of providing adequate nutrition to PDLs, noting that unhealthy eating habits can lead to lifestyle diseases. Also, these skills will be invaluable when they return to society, she said.

“Importante na lahat ay magkaroon ng kaalaman sa tamang nutrisyon at tamang paraan ng pagluluto upang ito ay madala at maipamahagi nila sa kanilang paglaya at bahagi rin ito ng proseso ng kanilang rehabilitasyon pagbalik sa lipunan,” she added.

Data from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in Dagupan City reveal that 83 out of 591 PDLs suffer from hypertension.