The UAE Ministry of Health, represented by its Health Clinics and Centers’ Health Education and Promotion Department, organised its third educational workshop in Sharjah last month, forming part of the ‘Healthy Restaurant’ initiative which saw the participation of 15 restaurants.
The first educational workshop was hosted in Ajman and gathered 15 restaurants participated, while 14 restaurants assembled for the second workshop in Fujairah.
The Healthy Restaurant initiative is part of another campaign, Raising Awareness about Various Lifestyles in Society, which was launched after a cabinet retreat. Dr. Fadila Mohammed Sharif, director of the Ministry of Health’s Health Education and Promotion Department, said: “Non-communicable diseases are one of the health challenges that the Ministry has given a high priority in the last few years because of the huge financial burden to the patients.
“Eating unhealthy food is one of the primary causes of these diseases. There is a growing trend towards eating out which is not exclusive to special occasions anymore. Raising awareness among consumers on what they are eating as well as encouraging them to make healthy choices has become vital. At the same time, healthy food should be readily available to help them make good choices, which is the basic aim of the initiative.”
Khadija Al Amiri, health educator for the Ministry of Health’s Health Education and Promotion Department, said: “The Healthy Restaurant initiative is a voluntary program that will enable individuals to make healthy decisions as well as encourage restaurants to offer healthy meals by improving their menus.”
“Interested restaurants can have their menus reviewed for nutrient analysis by the Ministry to offer at least two healthy meals for adults and one for children along with fresh juices. The Ministry will offer the required support through its nutritionists to not only develop healthy menus but also provide required training and education. In addition, the participating food establishments will be promoted by the Ministry’s various social media channels and its partners as healthy restaurants,” he added.