Posted on January 14, 2018

The Department of Human Nutrition at Qatar University College of Health Sciences (QU-CHS) recently conducted two training sessions on the Qatar Dietary Guidelines, aimed to train the department teaching assistants and students to apply these guidelines and recommendations in their profession. The session was delivered by Ms Nasima Banu Mohammed Naveeduddin, Teaching Assistant at CHS Department of Human Nutrition.

The Qatar Dietary Guidelines are part of the National Nutrition and Physical Activity Plan 2011-2016 developed by the Ministry of Public Health. They aim to reduce morbidity and mortality attributable to chronic non-communicable diseases in the State of Qatar. Ms Nasima Banu Mohammed Naveeduddin noted that these guidelines are based on food rather than nutrients. “The objective of the training is to allow the participants to understand the importance of the guidelines and learn methods and tips and implement them in their day-to-day life to protect themselves from chronic diseases”, she said.

She added: “These guidelines also focus on physical activity and healthy lifestyle, benefits of breast feeding, maintaining a healthy weight and eating healthy while protecting the environment. They also highlight the significant role of parents as role models of healthy eating and healthy lifestyle. This training will help the participants to understand and implement the Qatar Dietary Guidelines, which are developed according to the needs of people in Qatar. These guidelines will enable people to change their dietary and lifestyle patterns for the good and stay healthy.”

CHS Dean and Biomedical Research Center Director Prof Asma Al-Thani noted that the Qatar dietary guidelines are developed for the healthy adult population not only for those who are at risk for chronic diseases. She said: “The lifestyle changes in the State of Qatar due to the rapid economic, demographic, social and cultural development changed the dietary and lifestyle patterns. They influenced dietary preferences and shifted them to processed and refined food products which are loaded with saturated sugars, excess of sodium, high sugar and trans fat. They also engendered less physical activity or sedentary lifestyle.”

She added: “According to research on the nutritional status of the Qatari population, there is a high prevalence for childhood obesity, which is a risk factor of metabolic syndrome. This further can increase the risk for cardiovascular diseases in later life. The Qatari population is also deficient in Vitamin D. This training session showcases the ongoing efforts of the College of Health Sciences to highlight issues that are of the interest of society and raise community awareness on timely health topics while stressing the importance of adopting a healthy diet and following daily physical exercises to prevent chronic diseases.”