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Dietary guidelines aim to combat nutrition problems

Discussion in 'Health' started by Bonjiek Dakoykoy, Aug 29, 2015.

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  1. Bonjiek Dakoykoy

    Bonjiek Dakoykoy
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    May 24, 2015
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    The recently launched Qatar Dietary Guidelines aim to address the nutritional and health problems of the country and put forward several suggestions to overcome those issues.
    A recent study in Qatar revealed that 69% of children below 16 years had vitamin D deficiency. Although Qatar enjoys a sunny environment all year long, vitamin D deficiency is one of the main public health problems in the country.
    The Supreme Council of Health (SCH) has also explained that Qatar faces two types of nutritional and health problems: those associated with change in lifestyle and those related to nutrient deficiencies. According to the latest edition of ‘Qatarhealth’, a magazine published by SCH, the release of the Qatar Dietary Guidelines is an effort at reducing rates of obesity and overweight, increasing rates of physical activity and enhancing nutritional status. It aims at reducing morbidity and mortality attributable to “chronic non-communicable diseases” in the country.
    It also points out that the country needs to face great challenges to prevent and control several nutritional problems and diet-related chronic diseases.
    Moreover, the development of the guidelines supports and fosters healthy lifestyle patterns to accomplish the objectives of health, nutrition and physical activity within fundamental building blocks.
    The health problems related to the changes in lifestyle lead to complications such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, dental caries and osteoporosis. Similarly, those associated with nutrient deficiencies result in health issues such as iron deficiency anaemia and deficiencies of vitamin D and calcium.
    In addition, food borne diseases are a problem of concern in all the GCC countries. Therefore, the need for simple dietary guidelines to address the burden of these diseases is urgent, especially as some of them contribute to more than 50% of total mortality in the GCC region.
    As per the recommendations of the World Health Organisation, the concept of food-based dietary guidelines has come to light and was promoted by the SCH. These guidelines take into consideration the socio-cultural status and nutritional problems in Qatar. They can be a useful tool in educating the public in healthy eating and prevention of diet-related chronic diseases.
    Qatar has undergone a rapid change in its socio-economic situation, food consumption patterns, lifestyle and health status during the past three decades. Conversely, communicable diseases have diminished and diet-related chronic diseases have become the main health problems.
    In addition to addressing the prevention and control of the main nutritional problems and diet-related diseases in Qatar, the dietary guidelines are based on affordable and available foods, which are commonly consumed by the public, with focus on traditional foods.
    It also considers the cultural and religious background of the population in Qatar. It promotes a healthy lifestyle, especially the importance of physical activity and it is based on current scientific and health information.GULF TIMES

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