MOH News
Dr. Al-Rabeeah Inaugurates the the Dietary Guidelines for Saudis “Healthy Food Palm”
13 January 2013

On Sunday, at his office, His Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah inaugurated the Dietary Guidlines for Saudis, symbolically dubbed: “Healthy Food Palm”.

Dr. Al-Rabeeah has made clear that the Ministry of Health, represented by the National Committee for the Promotion of Health, looks forward to establishing an integrated approach to health promotion. “This Dietary Guidlines for Saudis we are launching today comes within the framework of this approach,” said Dr. Al-Rabeeah.

He underscored the Ministry's keen interest in investing all mass media to reach the beneficiaries of health services, with a view to promoting public health. In this context, the Ministry has been spreading and promoting the concept of health awareness through the various health centers. Meanwhile, he called upon the Saudi universities, students of health faculties to be involved in the Ministry's quest for attaining this national objective.
 
Dr. Al-Rabeeah further expounded that the Ministry of Health is pursuing an ambitious strategy for the promotion of health, through which it seeks to reach out all Saudi citizens and residents. “Through a national committee,” he added, “we'll be prompting consolidation of efforts among the relevant sectors.”
 
Concluding his statement, Dr. Al-Rabeeah affirmed that the Ministry will spare no effort to put into action the resolutions and recommendations of the International Conference of Healthy Lifestyles and non-Communicable Diseases in the Arab World and Middle East, recently hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which targets raising people's health awareness, in close coordination with the relevant ministries and authorities, which have taken substantial part in this conference.
 
For his part, the Supervisor-General of Nutrition, Mr. Mashari Al-Dekheil, pointed out that the Ministry has promptly developed the “Healthy Food Palm” with a view to being a Saudi health nutrition guide, originating from our genuine social environment, our peculiar culture, our national motto, and the Islamic Shari'a, meanwhile depending on a viable and feasible scientific methodology, in the light of the remarkable rise of the incidence of nutrition-associated diseases in the Saudi society, and the GCC states in general. It is for this reason that this guide seeks to meet individual's nutritional requirements, each according to his health situation.
 
“This dietary guidelines are reckoned a springhead for nutritionists, so that they can develop nutritional schedules according to the daily food proportions put forth in the guidelines,” Al-Dekheil added. “Furthermore, it could be utilized as a health and nutritional guide for citizens and residents about what, and how much to eat, meanwhile making sure not to undermine the importance of exercise, indispensable for promoting the individual and community health.”
 
According to Dr. Al-Dekheil, the guidelines are meant to raise citizens' awareness of what to eat, in terms of both the kind and quantity of food, as well as their daily requirements and proportions of nutrients. That's to be added to discouraging people from depending on fast foods, soft (carbonated) drinks and stimuli, as well as sugary, salty, fatty and non-healthy foods, by way of following the daily nutritional proportions put forth in the “Healthy Food Palm”.
 
He went on to say that the guideline, when put into effect, are intended, also, to help diminish the risk of nutrition-associated diseases and complications, recently spread out in the Saudi society in particular, and the GCC countries in general, most notably: obesity and over-weight diseases, diabetes, hypertension, cardiac diseases triggered by saturated fats, anemia, osteoporosis, vitamin deficiency, and so forth. He was quoted as saying, “I hope that the guide will help reform individuals' food behaviors, and that it will be circulated and applied at all governmental and private institutions. And I hope for this guide to be taken by all citizens, as well as national, regional, and international institutions, as a nutritional guide and health educationist.”
 
Studies have proven that courtiers that have placed greater emphasis on health and nutritional awareness have become less prone to the risk of food-associated diseases. The Healthy Food Palm model includes, in its trunk, a distribution of the nutritional proportions of foods and nutrients, so as to be feasibly comprehended.
 
The Healthy Food Palm guide shows the number of daily health proportions recommended in all meals and dishes covered by the Palm design, meanwhile underscoring the importance of exercise alongside food balance. It encourages all community groups and segments to do exercise for 30-60 minutes a day, each according to his health situation.



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