PRESS RELEASE – HEALTHY WEIGHT FOR LIFE CAMPAIGN 2016
The Health Authrorities have launched the Healthy Weight for Life: the Mediteranean Diet campaign which will run throughout the month of May and the following months. This campaign forms part of the OPEN project funded under the Public Health Programme in collaboration with various sectors within the Ministry for Health including the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate, Primary Care and Dar Kenn għal Saħħtek. This multi-media campaign (television, radio, social and digital media) aims to reach out to various sectors of the population and includes several social events within the Maltese communities. This campaign will run across various settings and brings together various stakeholders. The focus will be on the Mediterranean Diet as outlined in the new Food Based Dietary Guidelines and the various services being offered across the health sector based on prevention.
This campaign follows the action plans emanating from strategies outlined including ‘A Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Disease in Malta (2010); ‘A Healthy Weight for Life: A National Strategy for Malta’ (2012); ‘A Food and Nutrition Policy and Action Plan for Malta’ (2014); ‘A Whole School approach to a healthy lifestyle: healthy eating and physical activity policy (2015), and the ‘A National Breastfeeding Policy and Action Plan’ (2015).
Food and diet are important aspects in promoting wellbeing, maintenance of healthy weight and the prevention of non communicable diseases. Conditions such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, osteoporosis and gastrointestinal problems are linked to a high intake of foods high in saturated and trans fat, refined sugars and/or salt, together with a poor intake of plant foods such as vegetables, whole fruits, legumes, whole grain cereals and nuts (among others), known to provide all the nutrients and protective phytonutrients involved in the maintenance of optimal health.
Food patterns had drifted away from the traditional Mediterranean diet; with a decreased consumption of wholesome plant foods, and a coexisting shift towards an increased consumption of energy-dense foods and relatively nutrient-poor foods. This has been also the case in many other countries in the Mediterranean region. Currently the national food consumption survey is ongoing with detailed analysis of the food being consumed. This will inform on further policies in this area.
The new food based dietary guidelines for Maltese adults aged 19-65 years and the accompanying healthy plate guide have been established following the setting up of an Advisory Group of experts from different disciplines and were based on the principles of the Mediterranean Diet. The main aim of these new dietary guidelines is to encourage people to embrace health-promoting patterns of eating, drinking and physical activity – the Mediterranean way.
The ‘Healthy Plate’ guide encourages Maltese active adults aged 19-65 years to include in their daily diet in the proportions indicated by the graphical ‘healthy plate’ guide. To achieve this advocated well balanced diet and lifestyle, Maltese adults need to:
· increase their intake of coloured vegetables and fruit, wholegrain/wholemeal cereals, legumes, nuts, seeds, fish, herbs and spices, and water;
· decrease their consumption of nutrient-poor, refined energy-dense foods and, alcoholic and sweetened non-alcoholic beverages;
· decrease sitting time whilst increasing their physical activity levels;
· drink water.
For further information contact the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate on 23266000 or email@example.com.
Application - Healthy Weight for Life ( ENG - MLT )
Tasty Food Recipies ( EN