A healthy lifestyle is a key aspect of the Qatar Public Health Strategy 2017-2022 to be launched later this year by the Ministry of Public Health.
The strategy states that the top three risk factors for mortality in Qatar are overweight and obesity, high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels, and the combination of these risk factors significantly increases the chances of developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease.
“Cardiovascular disease and diabetes are the major non-communicable diseases caused by unhealthy lifestyles and could be controlled through following healthy lifestyle habits such as physical activity, low salt intake, tobacco control and a healthy diet that includes vegetable and fruit consumption,” said Sheikha Dr al-Anoud al-Thani, manager of Health Promotion and Non-Communicable Diseases at the Ministry of Public Health.
"It is incredibly important to ensure that people are in control of their own health. This means giving them the knowledge they need to make their own healthy decisions. Health information on the internet and the mainstream media can often be very confusing, so it is vital that the strategy will provide people with appropriate information to follow a healthy lifestyle,’’ explained Sheikha al-Anoud.
The strategy outlines a number of healthy lifestyle objectives, including increasing public awareness of healthy nutrition and physical activity and establishing more wellness services in primary health care centres.
“Qatar is not alone in the challenges resulting from unhealthy lifestyles habits. Countries right across the world are battling to reverse the rise of diseases caused by unhealthy lifestyles,’’ stated Sheikha al-Anoud. “The good news is that we know the risk factors that cause these diseases. If we are to reverse the trend and improve the health of the population, collective action is needed from all sections of society,’’ she added.
The current strategy is available for review online at http://phs.moph.gov.qa and MOPH is inviting the population of Qatar to complete the health survey on the website. Through the survey, MOPH is receiving in-depth information on what people want, and need, for public health – feedback which will be studied and utilised to ensure that the final strategy is robust and fit for purpose.
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