Dubai: Health officials say that despite repeated warnings, adults continue to skip meals and indulge in junk food and processed meals.

To mark World Food Day on October 16, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and Dubai Municipality have teamed up to raise awareness on the importance of having healthy balanced meals, as it can also affect children’s eating habits.

“Adults are still not eating properly and most tend to either skip meals or eat junk food because they do not have time to prepare a nutritional meal. These habits have to change and as part of our initiative, we have launched a week-long campaign to inform the public about which types of food should be cut down or enhanced in their diets,” Mona Al Shammar, head of nutrition education unit at DHA, said.

Mona added that salt and high blood pressure are two silent killers that have to be addressed, and explained that a healthy meal involves cutting down on food with high sodium, such as salted fish, canned meats and table sauces, eating fewer servings of processed food and including more food that is lower in sodium, including meat and poultry, eggs and pasta.

World Food Day was proclaimed in 1979 by the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), and aims to heighten public awareness of the world food problem and strengthen solidarity against hunger, malnutrition and poverty.

According to the DHA, a healthy meal for adults and children consists of portions made up of a quarter protein, a quarter starch and half of vegetables.

A representative of Nestle added that a typical lunchbox for a child should include a sandwich made up of whole wheat bread, three vegetables, two fruits and a glass of milk.