National strategy for food security in the UAE

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On the eve of the implementation of the national strategy for ensuring food security, the UAE Food Security Authority is studying common food habits in the country. Realization of this strategy will allow the UAE to become a country with one of the highest levels of food security in the world, which produces its own food products and does not depend on imports. In addition, this strategy, which is planned to be presented in September, will help maximize the use of huge UAE resources for the benefit of the food sector.

Specialists of the Food Security Authority of the UAE held a meeting with representatives of leading governmental and international bodies, as well as experts in the field of health and nutrition. The meeting discussed the main food trends in the country, among which high level of consumption of food additives.

Participants discussed the genetic code of the population of the Persian Gulf region, as well as the risks that entail the use of fast food. It was noted that in the UAE society the level of awareness of health issues is quite high.

Experts discussed the growing volumes of servings in restaurants, as well as the spread of diseases associated with eating habits.

In addition, the possibilities of using the technological achievements of the fourth industrial revolution and large databases in the field of nutrition were discussed.

However, participants of the meeting stressed the importance of raising the level of awareness of people about the content of sugar and salt in products, reducing portion sizes in restaurants, as well as cooperation with young opinion leaders to promote the idea of a healthy lifestyle.

Participants in the discussions concluded that now it is necessary to build a comprehensive genetic map for UAE residents to determine which products have a special need. Moreover, it was noted that it is necessary to develop a national program to increase public awareness and harmonization of food waste policies. Similar conclusions were reached by experts in the discussion of different approaches to building a unified national strategy in the field of prevention, which would be based on international standards, as well as carrying out demographic studies in the field of nutrition, both in families and in restaurants.

The specialists also presented a list of recommendations for the development of a social program for changing behavioral habits. At the same time, it is proposed to place labels on foodstuffs that indicate the caloric content and nutritional value, as well as publish handbooks on nutrition for families. The list of recommendations also includes the need to regulate import and export policies, as well as the taxation of less nutritious foods and the reduction of the cost of useful products, which will attract buyers.

It was also proposed to allocate one day a month, when it will be possible to share food with others. It is proposed to install in residential areas public refrigerators where you can put food that you no longer need, so that it can be taken by your neighbors. This will reduce the amount of food waste.