National campaign on promoting healthy diet to kick off – Tehran Times

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TEHRAN – A national campaign on promoting a healthy diet focusing on the benefits of iodized salt and dairy products will commence nationwide in the next Iranian calendar month starting January 21.  

The first phase of the campaign started in November 2023 aiming to reduce deaths caused by non-communicable diseases.

Since diabetes and high blood pressure, as the main causes of non-communicable diseases are directly affected by one’s diet, the second phase of the national health campaign focuses on healthy diets.

Salt is the subject of the first week of the campaign, from January 21 to 27, with the theme of ‘Everyone’s choice: little but refined iodized salt’.

Dairy is the subject and theme of the second week, from January 28 to February 4, with the theme of ‘From childhood to old age, consume healthy dairy products.’

Each day of the two-week event is named as follows:

Sunday, January 21 – ‘Consume refined iodized salt and lessen salt intake’.

Monday, January 22 – ‘Sea salt and unrefined salts cause cancer’.

Tuesday, January 23 – ‘Salted food consumption promotes the development of stomach cancer, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure’.

Wednesday, January 24 – ‘Salt is not just in food, watch out for hidden salt, too.’

Thursday, January 25 – ‘Add small amounts of refined iodized salt to food at the end of the cooking process’.

Friday, January 26 – ‘Take the salt shaker off the table’.

Saturday, January 27 – ‘Colored salts (pink, blue and purple) and rock salt endanger one’s health’.

Sunday, January 28 – ‘Drink two glasses of milk daily. Better sleep with more dairy products.’

Monday, January 29 – ‘Low-fat dairy products lower the risk of osteoporosis’.

Tuesday, January 30 – ‘Milk is a nutritious snack to improve students’ physical growth and enhance their overall learning ability.’

Wednesday, January 31 – ‘Dairy products’ consumption reduces the risk of colon cancer.’

Thursday, February 1 – ‘Consuming dairy products helps to control blood pressure’.

Friday, February 2 – ‘Dairy products intake prevents shortness in children’.

Saturday, February 3 – ‘Yogurt consumption boosts immune system’.

Sunday, February 4– ‘Milk and dairy products are rich sources of calcium’.

Over 42m people participate in national health campaign

More than 42.184 million people have so far taken part in the national health campaign aiming to be screened for high blood pressure and diabetes.

Out of the screened people, 796,840 were identified with probable hypertension, and 445,803 were identified with probable diabetes.

The first phase of the national health campaign started in November 2023 aiming to reduce deaths caused by non-communicable diseases.

The project with the theme of “earlier awareness, better care” will go on until January 20, ISNA reported.

The main objective of the campaign is to provide free health care for diabetic and hypertensive patients in the framework of the family physician program and to create an electronic health file for patients.

The identified patients will be checked every month or every three months by healthcare workers and doctors to receive free tests and medicines if needed.

Nowadays, health is one of the most essential human needs. Before the coronavirus pandemic, people may not have realized its importance, but this disease showed us how precious health is, Health Minister Bahram Einollahi said at a ceremony to unveil the Campaign.

“Maybe everyone thinks that our job is treatment, but it is not true. Our main duty is to prevent diseases and promote health.”

For this reason, a project called “national health campaign” started on November 11, 2023, and will continue till January 20.

Emphasizing the importance of improving health literacy, Einollahi said, “The level of literacy in the society has increased, and we expect this level to improve in the field of health as well. Also, we hope to manage having an electronic health file for every Iranian with their national identification code to record the history of illnesses in their family, their lifestyle, etc. so that their diseases and their reasons can be traced easily.”

He emphasized the campaign should include over 70 percent of the country’s population; there is full preparation for its implementation in all universities of medical sciences, and everyone is mobilized to implement the plan.

Talking about the national health campaign, Einollahi said the campaign focuses on providing electronic health records for each family and screening them for diabetes and hypertension, and 70 percent of people are expected to participate in the campaign.

Einollahi added: “About 83 percent of all deaths registered in hospitals are caused by non-communicable diseases. Around 300,000 people die from cardiovascular diseases every year. Some 32 percent of people over 18 years old have hypertension, and 60 percent are unaware of their high blood pressure. Some 30,000 deaths per year occur due to diabetes in the country, which are all significant cases.” 

By implementing the national health campaign, half a million deaths from non-communicable diseases and 30,000 deaths from diabetes can be prevented, he added.


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