Dubai, United Arab Emirates - September 04, 2019: As part of Ma’kom” initiative activities, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has launched yesterday the second phase of the media awareness campaign “Beat the Habit…Fight Extra Sugar” with an aim of raising the awareness of community members about the health risks associated with the overconsumption of sugar-sweetened beverages or any other sweeteners.
The campaign, which will continue from 3 September to 30 November 2019, with a purpose to enhance the interaction with the individuals through all MOHAP’s “Ma’kom” media channels and social media platforms, in a bid to protect them from the commercials and promotional campaigns which attract the people to buy sweetened beverages.
H.E. Dr. Hussein Abdel Rahman Al-Rand, Undersecretary of the Ministry’s Health Assistant Sector, Health Centers and Clinics, pointed out that the campaign falls under the national initiative “Promoting Healthy Lifestyles in the Society” which aims to stimulate the individuals to adopt healthy lifestyles, eat healthy food, engage in physical activity, quit smoking and build a healthy society.
He hailed the cabinet resolution in terms of adding the sugar-sweetened beverages or any other sweeteners to the selective tax as of January 2020.
Dr. Fadila Mohamed Sherif, Director of MoHAP’s Health Education & Promotion Department, said: “The campaign “Beat the Habit…Fight Extra Sugar” aims at curbing the overconsumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, is a part of the Ma’kom' initiative, which aims to promote the awareness of healthy lifestyles by providing the community with the information and skills needed to adopt healthy lifestyles. The initiative also contributes to creating health-friendly environments that enable individuals to adopt and practice healthy behaviors”.
She went on saying: “Despite the high calories the sugar-sweetened beverages provide, they tend to be low in nutritional value and they might not give the same feeling of satiety, which real food provides. That’s why the WHO recommends adults and children to reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake.”
The Campaign and its Impacts on Sugar Intake
Nouf Khamis, Deputy Director of Health Education and Promotion department said: “The sweetened drinks include juices, soft and energy drinks are the world’s most consumed beverages'. The risks associated with these types of drinks are not only confined to obesity, but it also associated with some chronic diseases such as, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and some types of cancer.”
She added: “Through this campaign, we aim to correct the misconceptions about sweetened drinks and that are free of added sugar and also clarify that the sugar might be hidden in some drinks under various names. We also hope that this campaign would help to reduce the overconsumption of sugar and that the individuals adhere to the safe amounts of sugar intake according to WHO recommendations and guidelines.”