Abu Dhabi launches new campaign on healthy eating to reduce obesity

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A new health campaign from Abu Dhabi which highlights the benefits of better diets was introduced to the public on Tuesday.

The Abu Dhabi Public Health Center has launched the Sehhi nutrition program at Lulu hypermarkets in the capital as part of a major campaign to reduce obesity rates and boost community health.

A Sehhi logo will be placed on the packaging of healthy foods on sale at outlets, including supermarkets, grocery stores and restaurants, to encourage shoppers to improve their eating habits.

The mark of approval will also be published on the menus of restaurants in the capital.

The move is part of a long-term vision to boost lifestyle habits, helping people live longer and healthier lives while easing pressure on health services.

Foods low in fat, sugar and salt and high in fiber will be identified as healthy options.

The calorie content of dishes will also be published on menus as part of the program announced on Saturday.

“ADPHC is committed to the safety and well-being of every member of the Abu Dhabi community and nutrition undoubtedly plays a vital role in promoting overall health and has a profound impact on reducing prevalence and burden of lifestyle-related diseases,” said Matar Al Nuaimi. , CEO of the Abu Dhabi Public Health Center.

“As such, the launch of the Sehhi program is in line with our vision of a healthy and safe society by consolidating the efforts of the various stakeholders in the ecosystem to ensure access to healthy foods and promote more informed food choices. and more enlightened.

A recent study has shed light on the problem of obesity in the Gulf region, with young people accumulating problems for the future by gaining weight.

About a third of university students in the UAE are overweight or obese, according to the research, and scientists have warned that this rate is likely to increase as this generation ages.

Dr. Omniyat Al Hajeri, executive director of community health for ADPHC, said the program emphasizes the importance of a balanced diet.

“The Sehhi program will support and enable the community to make informed food consumption decisions,” she said.

“Through the Sehhi program, ADPHC has made sure to reach all consumer touchpoints to encourage better food decisions. We urge the community to follow healthy eating habits and ensure they consume a healthy diet. balanced.”

How the health campaign will work

A comprehensive classification process has been established to identify foods that fall under the Sehhi program, with criteria considering calorie count, total fat, saturated and trans fat, sugar, salt, and fiber amounts.

Outlets will also be able to enter details about their food items into a digitized platform that will review and analyze the nutritional value of their dishes, identifying those that meet the Sehhi criteria.

Participating establishments will receive advice and training on the program, while members of the public will receive information on how to improve their diet.

“With the prevalence of obesity and sedentary lifestyles globally and locally, encouraging balanced and nutritious food choices is essential to the overall health of society and aligns with ADPHC’s vision of ‘a healthy and safe society by promoting preventive and public health,’ the center said. , in a statement carried by Wam.

The United Arab Emirates is already taking steps to improve the health and well-being of its people.

In March, the UAE Obesity Task Force held its first meeting.

It focuses on educating children ages 5-17 about the dangers of obesity, with an emphasis on healthy eating, weight management, exercise, and nutrition.

Dr Hussain Al Rand, Deputy Under-Secretary for the Public Health Sector at the Ministry of Health, said at the time: “Tackling obesity is a public health priority, while treating it requires awareness of obesity and its complications.

Updated: August 23, 2022, 08:46

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