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QU campaigns on increasing fruits and vegetables consumption and decreasing the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages | Qatar University

QU campaigns on increasing fruits and vegetables consumption and decreasing the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages

2022-06-19 00:00:00.0
studnet during an activity held at q

The Human Nutrition Department at the College of Health Sciences, member of the QU-HEALTH at Qatar University (QU), has organized two campaigns at the Global International School on increasing fruits and vegetables consumption and decreasing the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.

Nutritional health during childhood and adolescence stage is important for supporting the growing body and for preventing future health problems. Eating behavior during this developmentally critical age period affects later life growth and disease prevention. Today, children are subject to an imbalance of nutrients. They consume fats, sugars and salt in excess while the intake of vitamins and minerals is compromised. It might affect their brain development, learning, immunity and infection’s risk. Given the high prevalence of childhood obesity in Qatar, it is essential to provide a balanced diet from an early age.

Including fruits and vegetables daily in child’s meal is part of the Qatar Dietary Guidelines as fruits and vegetables are important components of a nutritious diet. Its consumption is linked to improved health and reduced risk of various chronic diseases as well as improving school performance and productivity. A diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with reduced risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers. Majorities of children do not meet recommendations and have a low consumption of fruits and vegetables, which may lead to poor health, constipation and increased risk of obesity and diseases. Third year students of Human Nutrition shared with the preschoolers’ educational videos, fun games and activities to learn about the benefits of fruits and vegetables. To encourage the kids consuming fruits and vegetables, they enjoyed tasting a variety of vegetables and fruits with several dips and shapes and colored in the activity sheet which items they will including in their next lunch box.

The consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) is associated with poor oral health, dental caries and increased energy intake, weight gain, overweight and obesity more than any other beverage. Regular consumption of SSB can increase as well the risk of several diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Speakers introduced the adolescents to the different types of SSB and its associated health risks. Students learnt how to detect the amount of sugar in the nutrition label and enjoyed matching the amount of sugar to the correct SSB product. Speakers shared some strategies to substitute SSB with healthier options.

Campaigns included a presentation and many activities. A range of learning activities were provided through which students explored the variety of fruits and vegetables, healthier beverages options and the benefits of a nutritious diet.

Related Files
  • pre-school students during the campaign