JEDDAH: The Saudi Food and Drug Authority has won a UN award for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases.
It was honored for its efforts to prevent and control these diseases through nutrition-related legislation.
In line with the Vision 2030 Quality of Life Program, the authority set out in 2018 to improve public health and enable consumers to find a variety of healthier food options.
The UN Inter-Agency Task Force Award on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases aims to encourage cooperation between UN bodies and global governments to support efforts in combating noncommunicable diseases associated with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The 2021 award recognized the SFDA’s commitment to realizing its vision of becoming “a leading international science-based regulator to protect and promote public health.”
The authority seeks to protect and ensure community safety through regulations and adequate controls of food, drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, and pesticides.
Since its launch, the SFDA has worked on several pieces of legislation related to food products and food establishments.
The legislation was introduced to improve the nutritional value of food products in local markets by limiting the consumption of sugar, salt, and fat, and obligating food establishments with menu labeling for calories and allergens.
It also launched several initiatives and awareness campaigns on proper nutrition and the healthy choices available in food and beverages.
The initiatives include the Food Labeling Nutrition Calculator and the revival of the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables in food establishments and the workplace.