The World Health Organization (WHO) has a new action guide for sports event organisers, titled “Healthier Food and Healthier Food Environments at Sports Events.” In collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health in Qatar, this guide offers a clear roadmap for enhancing the food offerings and overall food environment in and around sports stadiums. As per a report published by WHO, the action guide proposes five actions to achieve healthier food and healthier food environments in and around sports stadiums, from improving the food on offer to preventing harmful marketing. This comprehensive action guide offers practical recommendations that can be implemented at various stages of sports event management, spanning from the initial planning phase to event operations and even post-event evaluation.
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This action guide is not just limited to event organisers; governments, local authorities, and sports stadium managers can also leverage this resource to create policies that prioritise healthier food options at sports events. The introduction of this action guide answers several questions such as, “Why should there be healthier food and healthier food environments at sports events?”, “What is meant by healthier food and healthier food environments?”, and “How was this action guide conceived and developed?”
WHO also stated how the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the Ministry of Public Health, Qatar, had played a role in this action guide. They wrote, “In 2022, as part of a unique global partnership to promote health, WHO collaborated with the Ministry of Public Health, Qatar, and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to champion a healthier food offer in stadia during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
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They also revealed that over 30% of the food choices available at the event had a healthy nutritional profile in line with WHO standards. “This action guide builds on the successful experience gained at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and represents a powerful model for future sports events to fight against overweight and obesity, and diet-related noncommunicable disease. It aims to inspire action towards improving population health and well-being, and to redefine the role that sports events can have in this endeavour”, they added.
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