SFDA launches strategic plan for healthy food in Saudi Arabia

Rodolfo C. Estimo Jr – Arab News

RIYADH: The Saudi Food and Drugs Authority (SFDA) has launched a strategic plan for healthy food in the Kingdom, which involves determining allowable rates of sugar, salt and saturated fat in processed food.

SFDA CEO Hisham Al-Ghaie said a specialized scientific team has been assigned to review research, global experiences, and recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO) in cooperation with the Health Ministry.

“We look forward to working with strategic partners from ministries and the private sector,” he added.

The plan focuses on key aspects that studies have shown to have a significant impact on public health. It will include reducing sugar and salt in food; adding sugar to nutritional data on labels; reducing the use of hydrogenated fats in the food industry; fortifying food with vitamins and minerals; and requiring restaurants and cafes to show how many calories are in their meals and drinks.

The plan will also involve awareness campaigns and nutrition counseling on safe and healthy food.