DUBAI, The Ministry of Health and Prevention, MoHAP, recently organised an introductory workshop to explain the "Partners in Health Promotion" Initiative, which is targeting a number of retail food outlets in the UAE.

The initiative aims to encourage food outlets to provide necessary health tips and tools to help consumers make the right decisions and contribute to promoting the culture of healthy food through facilitating the process of choosing healthy foods and drinks.

The initiative comes as part of MoHAP's commitment to implementing the national agenda for obesity control.

Several benefits and advantages will be given to the participating retail food outlets which will act as MoHAP's strategic partners in the health awareness process.

Dr. Hussein Abdel Rahman Al-Rand, Under-Secretary of the Ministry's Health Assistant Sector, Health Centres and Clinics, said that the drive is part of the national initiative "Promoting Awareness about Healthy Lifestyles" which supports the national agenda for obesity control, as part of the UAE Vision 2021.

"The adherence of the retail food outlets to MoHAP's health standards, in terms of providing a healthy environment that encourages the purchase of healthy foods, low-fat and nutrient-rich, will be having a great impact on consumers' behaviours, including children and motivating them to adopt healthy buying habits," Al-Rand noted.

Dr. Fadila Mohamed Sherif, Director of MoHAP's Health Education & Promotion Department, hoped that the initiative will be widely acceptable by the retail food outlets and community members alike, explaining that the initiative aims to unite efforts of all parties to highlight the positive impact of spreading the culture of healthy food shopping and importance of reading the food product labels to benefit from the nutritional values of the healthy food.

"Work is underway to develop a mechanism for monitoring the participating outlets to ensure their commitment to initiative criteria prior to being considered as a health awareness partner to the Ministry of Health and Prevention," added Sherif.

She also warned the consumers of buying unhealthy food such as products with extra salt or sugar, which may cause hypertension, heart failure, stroke, and other diseases

Source: Emirates News Agency