The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has launched an awareness campaign called "Redefine Yourself in Ramadan" during the holy month of Ramadan. The campaign aims to promote health consciousness and healthy lifestyles among community members through health consultations, educational materials, and promoting balanced diets and physical activity. It focuses on three core themes: "choose, cook, and eat healthy" and addresses various health aspects such as sleep patterns and smoking cessation.

Utilising social media platforms, the programme disseminates awareness messages on the significance of adopting healthy lifestyles during Ramadan. Engaging the community further, the campaign includes "Ramadan riddles," interactive quizzes, and a 30-day physical activity challenge. This challenge is complemented by complimentary access to sports clubs across the UAE, alongside organised sports activities in health and leisure clubs, and workshops emphasising the significance of pre-shopping planning to promote healthy dietary choices during the fasting month.

The initiative also provides guidelines on adopting healthier eating habits, such as increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables, managing meal portions during Ramadan, and offering healthier dietary alternatives. This includes advocating for less fried foods, endorsing baked or grilled options, and advising on reducing salt intake, all aimed at fostering a healthier community during and beyond the sacred month.

Promoting healthy behaviors

“We are committed to launching a health awareness initiative every year timed with Ramadan to enhance societal health awareness, advocate for healthy lifestyles, assist individuals in choosing nutritious foods, and emphasise key health and nutritional practices during this holy month,” said Dr Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for the Public Health Sector.

“Our goal is to embed healthy behaviours that contribute to the reduction of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes, thus improving our national health indicators. Given the distinct dietary and lifestyle shifts during Ramadan, particularly the intensified eating patterns post-Iftar, it becomes crucial to implement specialised awareness campaigns. These campaigns are tailored to foster healthy lifestyles through preventive and community health programmes, aiming to promote health quality," he added.

"Considering the remarkable changes in dietary and lifestyle habits during Ramadan, it's crucial to launch health awareness initiatives tailored to the month's uniqueness. The distinct dietary patterns observed necessitate customised programmes. Therefore, MoHAP concentrates on crafting awareness campaigns that resonate with this specificity to support and enhance public health and the quality of life during the holy month and beyond, incorporating preventive and community-based programmes to foster healthy living standards," Al Rand stated.

Nouf Khamis Al Ali, Director of the Health Promotion Department at MoHAP, emphasised the crucial impact of the campaign, noting that this month provides a prime opportunity for the community to adopt healthier lifestyles.

She stressed that it’s very important for everyone to consume a balanced diet, exercise for at least 30 minutes every day, and for those smoking to quit their habit and alter unhealthy eating styles.
Khamis advocated breaking the fast with a nutritious meal to provide essential energy and aid digestion post-fasting.

She also encouraged the community to engage with the health awareness campaign via the Ministry's social media channels to extend the campaign’s reach to a broader audience and fulfil its goal of improving the overall quality of healthy living.