WHO Launched Guide For Healthier Food Choices At Sports Events

The World Health Organization has recently launched a new action guide “Healthier food and healthier food environments at sports events” for sports event organizers. The publication, under the collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health, Qatar, is directed at sports event organizers. It focuses on five actions to achieve healthier food and healthier food environments in and around sports stadiums. It focuses on all aspects right from improving the food on offer to preventing harmful marketing.  

As per the report published by WHO, the action guide suggests activities that can be carried out during the planning, operational and post-event phases of the sports events. The publication can be used by governments, local authorities as well as sports stadia managers for creating not just healthy public food procurement but also service policies for sport settings. The report also suggests that healthy and sustainable diets are important for both human as well as planetary health. And sports events are believed to be an ideal setting to promote healthy eating. 

Sports mega-events offer valuable opportunities for potentially larger impacts that reach billions of fans worldwide and this creates positive perceptions of healthier foods and beverages. As per a report published by WHO, as part of a unique global partnership to promote health, had collaborated with the Ministry of Public Health, Qatar and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to achieve healthier food environment during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. As a result, over 30% of the menu items served had a healthy nutritional profile in line with WHO standards.  

This action guide is based on the successful experience gained at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. It represents a powerful model for future sports events to battle against overweight, obesity, along with diet-related noncommunicable disease. It has an objective to implement action towards improving population health and well-being. It aims to redefine the role that sports events can have in this endeavour.