MoH targets supermarkets to foster healthy food environment

National 1 minute, 53 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Ministry of Health is targeting supermarkets to create an environment that facilitates a healthy lifestyle.

Dr Hjh Rahmah Hj Md Said, deputy permanent secretary (Technical and Professional) at the Ministry of Health (MoH), said improving the setting consumers make their decisions in could prove vital in the nation’s battle against non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

“The supermarket is a setting that is of strong relevance; it is both strategic and influential in affecting consumer decisions toward healthier choices,” she said.

The senior health official was speaking during launch of the first Healthy Supermarket Week at Hua Ho Manggis Mall yesterday.

Signs of less salt, less sugar, meeting the daily requirement of five vegetables and fruits – and how these can benefit your body weight, blood pressure and blood sugar – were posted throughout the supermarket as part of the programme, with shoppers also able to consult with a dietitian on Friday between 2pm and 5pm.

These signs, she said, would “empower consumers to make the healthy choice, and understand the reasons behind these choices”, and contribute to making the whole shopping experience more “conducive towards nutritious food choices.”

Meanwhile, Head of Public Health Nutrition Unit at Health Promotion Centre Hj Zakaria Kamis added that the centre was looking into the possibility of expanding the Healthy Supermarket Programme to other retail stores in the sultanate.

He added that shoppers can stop by on Friday and Sunday at 5pm to get a tour around the supermarket by a health professional on how to make the right choices for themselves and their families.

In conjunction with the Healthy Supermarket Week, small booths were set up on the first floor of Hua Ho Manggis yesterday, including an exercise instruction by Mike Mogard of Reebook Crossfit 673, pesticide-free fruits and vegetables from Hua Ho’s agriculture farm and juicing demonstrations by Raw Food Asia as well as free health screenings.

The Healthy Supermarket Week initiative was organised to answer the World Health Organisation’s call to create social environments that facilitate a healthy and active lifestyle.

The programme is also in line with the sultanate’s Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases 2013-2018, which seeks to “empower the public to improve their health by making the healthy choice”.

The Brunei Times