Dubai Hosts 2nd Nutrition Conference

nutrition-conferenceDubai, United Arab Emirates, November 17, 2016: His Excellency Humaid Al Qatami, Chairman of the Board and Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) inaugurated today the 2nd Dubai Nutrition Conference that is taking place at the InterContinental Festival City. 

The three-day conference is being held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai , UAE Finance Minister and President of the Dubai Health Authority.

Al Qatami said that in line with the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and His Highness Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council and in line with the directions of His Highness Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, the DHA is working at various levels for health promotion and disease prevention and clinical nutrition is a vital aspect to ensure good health. The Dubai Health Strategy 2016-2021 also pays significant emphasis to public health promotion. Such conferences present an opportunity to focus on the latest advances and challenges in the field of nutrition and exchange ideas with leaders in the field.

Dr. Waffa Ayesh, Chairperson of the Conference and Director of Clinical Nutrition at the DHA, said:  “One of the major global health challenges is the growing burden of non-communicable diseases and it is a known fact that poor diet and lifestyle choices is one of the major triggers for NCD’s. Therefore, in today’s times  the importance of nutrition awareness and education is particularly vital to prevent further escalation of NCD’s. This conference covers various aspects of nutrition and presents an opportunity for experts from around the global to share the latest information in the field of nutrition.”

At the conference, she highlighted that authorities in Dubai are working on incorporating a menu-labelling rule for Dubai restaurants, which means in the future all restaurants in Dubai will have to mention the calorie count of every dish on their menu.

“The move will help promote the concept of mindful eating and will deter people from frequently opting from high calorie meals,” said Dr Ayesh.

Currently DHA and Dubai Municipality are jointly working on implementing this rule which will be rolled out in phases to help restaurants cope with the rule and make the necessary changes.

“Many countries abroad have successfully incorporated this rule. Globally obesity rates are growing while dependence on outside eating has increased from an occasional weekend meal to eating out on a more frequent basis. Requiring restaurants to give consumers nutritional and calorie informa­tion in a direct and accessible manner will help them make informed and hopefully healthy dietary choices,” said Dr Ayesh.

However, many would argue that what people eat, and how they make those decisions, is quite complex and depends on many other factors other than calorie count. “Yes, while that is true, more information is bet­ter than less or no information. People can clearly benefit by knowing more and they should know more about nutrition and calories. Healthy nutrition is one of the pillars of well-being and good health.”


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