Dr. Sameen Siddiqi
Dr. Siddiqi, the head of WHO office, told the news agency of the International Congress of Nutrition, that WHO is heavily involved in supporting nutrition programs in Iran. He said that there are two big areas of activities: one is working very actively with the health ministry and the other one is to control the non-commutable diseases which is a big burden and the diet has a lot to do with this. He also focused on the danger of changing the diet pattern and eating more fast foods is serious and we should not allow this to go ahead because it is leading to over-weight and obesity. Another important issue that he mentioned was the obesity in children which is high and it should be concerned as the children are the future generation of every country.
Dr. Siddiqi pointed out that WHO is working closely with the Iranian National Nutrition Institute to design and implement the food consumption survey in Iran and said that the last nutrition survey was done 20 years ago and it is important to update and look at people's eating and diet pattern.
At the end, he acknowledged the works of Mashhad Medical University in the area of nutrition and said that we hope to achieve the strategies and solutions to improve nutrition statues in Iran.
Professor Ayoub Al-Jawaldeh
Professor Al-Jawaldeh, the representative of WHO told the congress news agency that Iran is suffering from double burdens of mal-nutrition both under-nutrition and over-nutrition. He said that in terms of under-nutrition, stunting and also micronutrients deficiencies including iron deficiency and vitamin E deficiency are important issues. In terms of over-weight, obesity is a big challenge which has been contributed to the increase of non-commutable diseases especially Diabetes.
Professor Al-Jawaldeh mentioned that the best resolve is to focus on the prevention and it means we have to improve our healthy life style (reduce sugar, salt and fat) and promote in taking fruits and vegetables, fiber and do more physical activities.
Professor Francesco Branca
Professor Branca, the representative f WHO, said that the agenda of the sustainable development is requiring all the government to take action to improve the quality of food and people's status and to eliminate all forms of mal-nutrition caused by under-nutrition, obesity, vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Professor Branca continued that it is important to take actions particularly to change the food system. He said that Iran is a country which is very active in shaping the food system and health of its population. It is done by asking the producers to reduce the content of salt and sugar in the products and also by informing the consumers through interpretive labeling on all manufacture products. Also considering price policies and taxation of food and beverage to guide the choice towards health care food products.
Professor Branca added that it is very important because improving a healthy diet is going to help to reduce the cardio-vascular diseases, obesity and cancer.
He mentioned that one-fourth of all the death in the world are caused by unhealthy diet and mal-nutrition.
He said that WHO is working with the Iranian government and several national nutrition institutes and insisted that Mashhad Medical University is very active in public health nutrition. At the end he said that we need more professionals to understand this issue and help us to find the solutions.