BY PMA RASHEED
26 May 2010, The Gulf Today
The first national nutrition strategy of the UAE has been announced by the Ministry of Health (MoH) on Tuesday.
An executive committee will implement and follow up the national nutrition strategy, aimed at improving the nutritious status of the UAE residents in all age groups, according to health officials.
“Several components included in the nutrition strategy, such as dissemination of health and nutrition awareness in the UAE community, promotion of breastfeeding and healthy foods and physical education, in addition to the enhancement of mineral foods and micronutrients,” said Dr Salem Al Darmaki, Acting Director General of the MoH.
“The first national nutrition strategy has been launched by the MoH, in tandem with the World Health Organisation (WHO), to achieve health services of global standards in the UAE,” he added.
Dr Darmaki said the UAE’s health sector has been facing a range of challenges with proportional increase of non-communicable and lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases, high blood pressure due to the health patterns and behaviors of improper nutrition and physical inactivity,” he added.
According to him, the MoH recognises the importance of good nutrition as a basis for the prevention of non-communicable diseases.
“The ministry worked with the WHO to develop the national nutrition strategy for the years 2010 to 2015, to improve the nutrition habits and reduce the rate of obesity and non-communicable diseases among different categories of the society, especially women and children,” said Dr Darmaki.
“The MoH will put into action the national nutrition strategy with various programmes in government and private sector, to increase the awareness of the residents on the importance of healthy habits as well as benefiting from various health services,” he explained.
“The primary healthcare sector will emphasise on early nutritional intervention programmes as they could effectively support the diagnosis and treatment process for diseases due to malnutrition,” he added.
According to him, the most prevalent common diseases due to malnutrition are coronary heart diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, injuries, high blood pressure, in addition to cancers and obesity.