A new initiative has been started in Abu Dhabi with the goal of expanding the emirate’s access to healthier food options. The Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre’s (ADPHC) SEHHI initiative aims to enhance community eating habits and promote the consumption of nutritious foods. The programme makes it easier to find wholesome foods and ingredients in all of the emirate’s food establishments, including cafes, restaurants, hotels, and grocery and supermarket stores.
The ADPHC is the first specialised facility in the area that promotes public and preventative healthcare knowledge in order to safeguard the population of Abu Dhabi’s physical, mental, and social well-being. The new initiative is consistent with Abu Dhabi’s goal of ensuring that inhabitants live longer, healthier lives by encouraging preventative actions and lowering the risks of lifestyle disorders.
To guarantee broader reach and impact, three sub-programmes have been identified.
- “SEHHI on Healthy Menus,” which involves slapping the SEHHI logo on food menu items to denote dishes that are high in fibre, low in fat, sugar, and salt.
- Displaying Calories on the Menu, which calls for adding the calorie count to menu items.
- The Abu Dhabi food and beverage retail industry will be encouraged to exhibit and promote healthy goods and ingredients through the SEHHI for Healthy Groceries and Supermarkets initiative.
The program aims to build a healthy society:
Director General of ADPHC Matar Al Nuaimi stated that the organisation is still dedicated to ensuring the security and welfare of each and every citizen of Abu Dhabi.
He said, “Nutrition has a significant impact on lowering the prevalence and costs of lifestyle diseases and is unquestionably important in supporting general health. The implementation of the SEHHI programme, which unifies the efforts of numerous ecosystem stakeholders to guarantee access to nutritious foods and encourage more informed and educated dietary choices, thus corresponds with our goal of a healthy, safe society.”
How will this work?
To select foods covered by the SEHHI programme, a thorough classification process has been devised, with the criteria taking into account calorie count, total fats, saturated and trans fats, sugar, salt, and fibre quantities.
Food establishments will be able to enter information about their food items into a digital platform that will assess and analyse the nutritional content of their offerings and identify any that satisfy the SEHHI requirements. To guarantee the best possible implementation of the programme, participating entities will get direction and a series of trainings. In parallel, advice and information on choosing healthier foods will be given to the Abu Dhabi community.