| Azlan Othman |
SUPERMARKET is a relevant, influential and strategic setting to stimulate change in attitude for a healthy diet experience and the initiative of the Health Promotion Centre of the Ministry of Health should be praised in taking proactive measures in choosing supermarket as the target to promote healthy diet practices.
This was highlighted by the Deputy Permanent Secretary (Professional and Technical) at the Ministry of Health, Dr Hajah Rahmah binti Haji Md Said at the launching of the Healthy Supermarket Programme at Hua Ho departmental store in Manggis.
“It is significant, judging by the fact that supermarket could influence the attitude of buying food and healthcare.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) in its action plan for health promotion and prevention and control of non-communicable diseases has highlighted the importance of the ‘healthy setting’ concept. It is also in line with the framework in the implementation of the 2013-2018 National Action Plan in Brunei Darussalam to tackle non-communicable diseases under the strategic theme ‘Towards Enhancing Health by Allowing the Environment and Healthy Choice Practice’.
In addition, the programme is also related to the action plan outlined in the ‘Health Promotion Blueprint 2011-2015’ to support the Health Promotion Centre’s mission of ‘Empowering The Public Towards Healthy Life’.
Dr Hajah Rahmah added, the impact of non-communicable disease has wide ramifications; it not only affects the welfare and health of the individual but also jeorpadises the productivity and brings negative impact to the socio-economy of the family.
And for the nation, the main challenge from such non-communicables disease is to provide various treatments and related needs which involves high cost, hi-tech facilities, trained and skillful workforce and long-term treatment.
In terms of economy and development, the burden of non-communicable diseases has the potential to stagnate the country’s development.
Taking into account the impact and consequences, non-communicable diseases have received global attention including in outlining the preventive measures and eradication. Research and assessments have exposed that the causes and risk factors of the non-communicable diseases are complex and closely associated with the lifestyle and the environment.
Preventive steps are not easy as it requires a firm strategy that involves various parties and means by giving special focus towards healthy lifestyle which requires close cooperation; taking into account the attitude and culture of the local community.
The Healthy Supermarket Programme is aimed to empower the public to make healthy food choices based on knowledge and understanding on food bought at the supermarket.
It also acts as a catalyst towards the change in environment at supermarket to make it more conducive and encourage the public to make healthy choices for food.
The programme is being held for six days from October 21-26 at the atrium of Hua Ho Manggis Mall. Among the activities include a talk on shopping in a heathy way and how to identify healthy food products, a demonstration to prepare healthy food, health checks, food labelling and identifying the placement of healthy food products as well as a health exhibition.
The supermarket has also placed a ‘healthy choice of food’ label and a ‘customer reminder’ to facilitate the consumers and to encourage them to take healthy food. In addition, heathy food recipes can also be obtained freely.