Eti­had Avi­a­tion Group makes ma­jor com­mit­ment to health of its staff

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

KUWAIT: Eti­had Avi­a­tion Group (EAG) will in­tro­duce health­ier We­qaya-ap­proved meal op­tions to its staff restau­rants af­ter sign­ing an agree­ment with The Health Au­thor­ity - Abu Dhabi (HAAD). The agree­ment rep­re­sents a sig­nif­i­cant com­mit­ment by EAG to the well­be­ing of its em­ploy­ees, while con­tribut­ing to a health­ier com­mu­nity in its home of Abu Dhabi. The “We­qaya” logo, the of­fi­cial mark of healthy eat­ing in Abu Dhabi, is only per­mit­ted on foods and at food out­lets that meet strict re­quire­ments on prepa­ra­tion and in­gre­di­ents, as gov­erned by HAAD. We­qaya la­belling can be dis­played when food items, such as a salad or sand­wich, con­tain less than 750 calo­ries, are low in fat, sat­u­rated fat, salt and su­gar, and high in fi­bre, among other spec­i­fi­ca­tions.

Dr Na­dia Bas­taki, Eti­had Avi­a­tion Group Vice Pres­i­dent Med­i­cal Ser­vices, said: “We have been work­ing closely with HAAD for many months to un­der­stand the We­qaya re­quire­ments and in­cor­po­rate them into our busi­ness so that our staff restau­rants of­fer food of the high­est nutri­tional qual­ity and em­ploy­ees can quickly iden­tify what choices are best for their health.” Speak­ing at SIAL Mid­dle East 2016 in Abu Dhabi, Dr Bas­taki added: “This is a ma­jor un­der­tak­ing by EAG and demon­strates our com­mit­ment to a health­ier work­force and to the re­duc­tion of health con­di­tions in the com­mu­nity linked to a poor diet. We would like to thank HAAD for their guid­ance and sup­port.”

Dr Om­niyat Al Ha­jeri, Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Health and Re­search at HAAD, said: “HAAD is ramp­ing up its ef­forts to ful­fil its vi­sion for “a health­ier Abu Dhabi” by pro­mot­ing a healthy food cul­ture in our com­mu­nity and ul­ti­mately in­creas­ing de­mand for it. In par­al­lel to its aware­ness-rais­ing ef­forts to in­crease de­mand, HAAD is also en­sur­ing the avail­abil­ity of healthy food op­tions across the Emi­rate of Abu Dhabi and mak­ing them eas­ier to iden­tify through the “We­qaya” logo.

We will con­tinue to stress that be­sides reg­u­lar phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, healthy eat­ing habits are a crit­i­cal com­po­nent of lead­ing a health­ier life­style.” Eti­had Avi­a­tion Group, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with HAAD, held train­ing ses­sions for Eti­had food han­dlers on how to pre­pare healthy food, ac­cord­ing to We­qaya food spec­i­fi­ca­tions. So far, more than 50 chefs and food and bev­er­age staff have gone through spe­cial train­ing ahead of EAG’s launch of nine We­qaya menu op­tions across six staff restau­rants this month.

Dr Al Ha­jeri added: “Our col­lab­o­ra­tion with EAG to­day, is an im­por­tant mile­stone in pro­mot­ing the We­qaya Nu­tri­tion Pro­gram, and en­cour­ag­ing its adop­tion across the Emi­rate of Abu Dhabi. We will con­tinue to work dili­gently with all our part­ners in both the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor to en­sure a smooth im­ple­men­ta­tion and adop­tion of healthy food spec­i­fi­ca­tions at food sup­ply com­pa­nies, cafes, restau­rants and mar­ket stores.”

The We­qaya Nu­tri­tion Pro­gram was launched in Septem­ber 2013 to raise aware­ness about healthy food items avail­able at food out­lets in the Emi­rate, while en­cour­ag­ing out­lets to in­crease their healthy of­fer­ings. HAAD col­lab­o­rated with the Qual­ity Con­form­ity Coun­cil (QCC) and Abu Dhabi Food Con­trol Au­thor­ity (ADFCA) to up­date the stan­dards. The pro­gram will help con­trib­ute to the ef­fec­tive re­duc­tion of risk fac­tors as­so­ci­ated with ma­jor non-com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases, such as heart dis­ease, di­a­betes and high blood pres­sure.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Eti­had Avi­a­tion Group (EAG) and The Health Au­thor­ity - Abu Dhabi (HAAD) take group photo af­ter the press con­fer­ence.

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