QU campaigns enlighten children about healthy eating

The Department of Human Nutrition of the College of Health Sciences, a member of QU-Health at Qatar University, organized two campaigns at the Global International School on increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables and decreasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables. sugary drinks (SSB).

The campaigns included a presentation and a range of learning activities through which students explored the variety of fruits and vegetables, healthier beverage options and the benefits of a nutritious diet.
Third-grade Human Nutrition students shared educational videos, fun games and activities with preschoolers to learn about the benefits of fruits and vegetables. To encourage the children to consume fruits and vegetables, there was a tasting session of a variety of vegetables and fruits with several dips.
The children were told that nutritional health during childhood and adolescence is important to support the growing body and prevent future health problems. Dietary habits during this critical developmental age affect growth and disease prevention later in life.
Children today are prone to nutrient imbalance, it has been pointed out. They consume excess fats, sugars and salt while vitamin and mineral intake is compromised. It could affect their brain development, learning, immunity and increase the risk of infections. Given the high prevalence of childhood obesity in Qatar, it is essential to provide a balanced diet from an early age.
The daily inclusion of fruits and vegetables in the child’s meal is part of the Qatar Dietary Guidelines, as fruits and vegetables are important parts of a nutritious diet. Their consumption is linked to improved health and reduced risk of various chronic diseases as well as improved school performance and productivity.
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain cancers. The majority of children do not meet the recommendations and have a low fruit and vegetable intake, which can lead to poor health, constipation and an increased risk of obesity and disease.
The consumption of sugary drinks is associated with poor oral health, dental caries and increased energy intake, weight gain, overweight and obesity more than any other drink. Regular consumption of sugary drinks can also increase the risk of several diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Speakers introduced teens to the different types of sugary drinks and their associated health risks. Students learned to detect the amount of sugar on the nutrition label and had fun matching the amount of sugar to the correct SSB product. Resource people also shared some strategies for replacing sugary drinks with healthier options.

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