In last few years the country has witnesses increase in modernisation and economic development. This further led to change in eating habits with increased unhealthy and unhygienic eating is considered as “epidemiological transition”.
In the past, obesity and diabetes were a big problem, WHO World Health Survey for Qatar (2006) recorded that residents of Qatar suffer from high prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, due the changed unhealthy eating habits and patterns. The survey indicated that almost 40% of the population is currently was obese and diabetes prevalence in the country., However, in the last 5 years people in Qatar have taken a turn of healthy living with a rise in gyms, diet and healthy restaurants, and more healthy options in supermarkets.
In the similar direction Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MEE) has now associated with Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) to promote sustainable living and healthy eating habits with its strategic program Sahtak Awalan – ‘Your Health First’.
Under this association MEE will extend all expertise and support to its program ‘Your Health First’. ‘Project Greenhouse’ is an important project that runs under WCM-Q programme ‘Your Health First.’ Which has already gifted greenhouses, seeds, and gardening equipment to 130 schools across Qatar to teach students how to grow a wide variety of fruit, vegetables, and herbs.
The project aims at connecting young children with the environment at the same time making them feel the importance of eating fresh produce for good health, and valuable lessons about environmental sustainability.
The association will now expand to project to more schools and make greenhouses is them with technical, material and scientific assistance for its next five year phase. The produce from these greenhouses will be offered for general sale to the community in Qatar at specially created market stalls, at good value prices, with all revenues from sales to be reinvested in the project to expand further.
The programme is much appreciated by various government authorities as this partnership will actively involve the community in the project and it is expected to create the required awareness and desired impact on a healthy and sustainable lifestyle in the country.