WHO delegation visited National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute of Iran
Social Relations of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences: WHO delegation visited the National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute and met with the officials of this institute and health and nutrition managers.
The WHO delegation consisting of Dr.Branka, Head of the Nutrition division of WHO in Geneva, and Dr. Tavila, WHO Representative in Iran, made a visit to different divisions of the institute and the School of Nutrition and Food Industry, pilot plants, laboratories and libraries.
Besides this visit, a meeting was held in the presence of the Deputy Director of the Health Ministry, Head of the Nutrition Improvement Office and Representative of the Health Ministry in International affairs, managers of different departments of the institute, specialists, and experts in nutritional health. The most significant research achievements in terms of food industry and nutrition were presented in this meeting.
Prof. Haji Faraji, the Director of the institute and School of Nutrition, opened the meeting with an overall introduction of the institute as the oldest research institute in Iran in the field of food and nutrition with a history of 53 years as well as 21 years of cooperation with the WHO.
He also referred to the most important educational and research activities of this institute including national studies, studying the food consumption pattern, food and nutrition surveillance program, studying the consumption pattern of salt, fat and sugar in Tehran (ordered by the WHO), and a cohort study on risk factors of non-communicable diseases among teachers and revising the national nutrition and food security document.
Afterwards, details of programs and aforementioned research studies were illustrated by Dr.Neyestani and Dr.Abdollahi, faculty members of the institute, and the results of the study on healthy heart and reduction in salt consumption were presented by Dr.sarraf Zadegan.
Then, Dr. Ghasemi, the Advisor of the institute, delivered a lecture on the necessity of interaction and exchange of information between economists, sociologists and policy makers of food and nutrition in order to study challenges, analyze the current condition and introduce appropriate strategies. Moreover, educational and executive activities related to nutritional support in ICU wards of hospitals were discussed by Dr.Norouzi.
Later on, Dr.Branka referred to the health council and food and nutrition security as strong points of making policies in the field of food and nutrition in Iran.
He emphasized the following six essential elements which have a significant role to promote food and nutrition research in Iran as well as cooperation with international organizations: setting up food and nutrition surveillance and monitoring systems, using novel technologies to reduce fat, salt and sugar consumption in community via health system, policy making and creative programming and assessment to promote the current status of food and nutrition, increasing the capacity for effective policy making, analyzing and studying policies in food industry and nutrition specially in terms of cost effectiveness and feasibility to apply the best of them.
In the end, Dr.Branka hoped to continue this cooperation between this institute and the WHO in order to achieve useful results to ultimately promote public health not only in the region but worldwide.