Previously known as Weqaya, SEHHI program facilitates the identification of nutritious foods and ingredients in food outlets, restaurants, cafes, healthcare facilities, hotels and grocery stores and supermarkets across the Emirate
Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (ADPHC), the region’s first dedicated centre protecting the physical, mental and social wellbeing of Abu Dhabi’s population by raising public and preventative healthcare awareness has launched the SEHHI program to increase access to healthy food options and promote nutritious food choices in Abu Dhabi.
In line with Abu Dhabi’s vision to ensure a longer, healthy life for citizens by promoting preventive measures and reducing the risks of lifestyle diseases, The SEHHI program seeks to encourage the community to consume healthy food choices and improve eating habits.
Ensuring a wider reach and greater impact, three sub-programs have been identified, including SEHHI on Healthy Menus which involves placing the SEHHI logo on food menu items identifying healthy dishes with low fat, sugar and salt contents and higher fibres, Displaying Calories on the Menu, which will entail the addition of the caloric count on food menu items and SEHHI for Healthy Groceries and Supermarkets, which will encourage the display and promotion of healthy foods and ingredients across F&B retail entities in Abu Dhabi.
H.E Matar Al Nuaimi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, said: “ADPHC is committed to the safety and wellbeing of every member of the Abu Dhabi community and nutrition undoubtedly plays a critical role in promoting overall health and has a profound impact on reducing the prevalence and burden of lifestyle diseases. As such, the launch of the SEHHI program aligns with our vision towards a healthy, safe society by consolidating the efforts of various stakeholders in the ecosystem to ensure access to healthy foods and promote more informed and educated dietary choices.”
H.E. Dr Omniyat Al Hajeri, Executive Director of Community Health at Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, said: “The SEHHI program will support and empower the community to make well informed decisions when it comes to the consumption of food. Through the SEHHI program, ADPHC has made sure to reach all consumer touchpoints to encourage better dietary decisions. We strongly urge the community to follow healthy eating habits and ensure they are consuming a balanced diet. “
A comprehensive classification process has also been established to identify foods that fall under the SEHHI program, with the criteria considering calorie count, total fats, saturated and trans fats, sugar, salt, and fibre amounts. Food outlets will also be able to input details about their food items into a digitized platform that will review and analyse the nutritional value of their dishes, identifying those that meet the SEHHI criteria. Participating entities will receive guidance and a series of trainings to ensure the optimal implementation of the program. In parallel, the Abu Dhabi community will also be provided with information and guidance on making healthier food choices.
With the prevalence of obesity and sedentary lifestyles globally and locally, encouraging balanced and nutritious dietary choices is essential to and overall health of society, and aligns with ADPHC’s vision of a healthy safe society by promoting preventive and public health.