The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has launched a community awareness campaign highlighting the risks of excessive salt consumption and advocating for healthier lifestyle choices.
The campaign aims to encourage the public to follow a diet rich in wholesome foods and low in salt and to protect the community from health complications such as high blood pressure, strokes, and heart disease, which are often associated with high salt intake.
Running during May in conjunction with "World Salt Awareness Week," the campaign was marked by a series of community events in shopping malls across various emirates.
Collaborating with its representative offices countrywide, the Ministry arranged a host of activities, such as educational sessions on the health risks of salt, effective strategies to cut down on salt usage, and the promotion of healthier alternatives. Furthermore, it offered tutorials on understanding food labels, specifically focusing on how to determine a product's sodium content and techniques to minimize salt use during cooking. The campaign also disseminated booklets featuring healthy recipes and organized virtual awareness workshops for government agency employees.
The campaign has set several objectives to achieve, including highlighting the detrimental health effects of excessive salt consumption. It sought to encourage individuals to modify their dietary habits to reduce salt intake and explore healthier alternatives. Additionally, the initiative aimed to equip people with the necessary skills to interpret food labels when shopping, enabling them to accurately determine the salt content of everyday items such as ready-made meals or canned products.
Practical advice for healthy nutrition
Nouf Khamis Al Ali, Director of the Health Promotion Department at MoHAP, said, "The campaign reflects MoHAP’s unwavering commitment to promoting public health education. Our ultimate goal is to empower the community to maintain good health and prevent diseases, particularly those linked to excessive salt consumption, such as cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, and kidney disease, among others. We believe the strength of the campaign lies in its inclusivity, reaching out to all societal segments—children, youth, adults, and the elderly. By providing accurate information and practical advice, we aim to promote healthier nutrition habits and the reduction of salt intake for the overall well-being of our community."
Speaking on the campaign's outreach, Khamis stated, "The community events we've organized in key locales such as City Centre Mirdif in Dubai, Oasis Mall in Sharjah, City Centre Ajman, Mall of Umm Al Quwain, and City Centre Fujairah offer us an excellent platform to engage with diverse members of our community. Through these interactions, we can effectively educate them and provide valuable advice on how to embrace a balanced, healthier lifestyle. It is our earnest hope that this campaign will yield positive outcomes, motivating our community to adopt healthier eating habits and reduce their daily salt intake to levels recommended by scientific guidelines."