Each of us, at every stage in life, has the right to eat healthier food, be active and feel great. This is the fundamental realization of the national program for an active and healthy lifestyle – Efsharibari. The Program is a joint initiative of three state ministries: Ministry of Health, Ministry of Culture and Sport and Ministry of Education; the goal is to lead a joint effort at national and local levels to promote an environment that facilitates healthier eating habits and incorporate physical activity into everyday life, across all population groups.
Why is it a national program?
A decline in physical activity, many hours in front of screens, and high consumption of sodium-rich processed foods, fats and sugars and sugar-sweetened beverages – all have significantly increased the proportion of people who are overweight, or obese in Israel, primarily among children. Currently 26% of Israeli children suffer from excess weight or obesity. These alarming trends and data have led the Israeli government to conclude that a dramatic government emergency intervention is needed, and in December 2011 a government resolution was adopted to carry the national program through.
Efsharibari action channels
Legislation and Regulation: the Regulatory Board for Changing the Food Environment | Food Control Law for Food Served and Sold in Educational Institutions ꟾ After-School Food Control Law | Public Health Protection Regulations: Red Labelling of Harmful Food Products | Committee for the Study of Restricting Advertising of Harmful Food Products for Children | Reducing the use of trans fats | Launching “Efsharibari Label” for Whole Wheat Breads and Pastries, and Less Sodium and Calories | Reduce the cost of healthy food products | Cancellation of Medical Certificate Requirement during Registration for Physical activity and Fitness Gyms and Replacement with Personal Health Statement | Pilot for Calorie Marking Regulations in Restaurants | Acknowledgment of expenditure for healthy refreshments including fruit and vegetables for tax purposes.
Education System: Program for Health Promoting Schools and Preschools | “Go For It” Program | "Eat This" Program | Encourage Arrivals to Educational Institutes on Foot or Bicycle | Regulations To Restrict Supply and Sales of Food with Low Nutrition Value in Schools | “Cooking Efsharibari” Initiative for Healthy Mediterranean Cooking | Student Fruit and Vegetable Distribution Pilot | Health Promoting Boarding Schools | Integrating Arrays and Activities for Birthday Celebrations and Healthier Holidays in Preschools and Schools | Health Promoting Daycare Pilot.
Health System: Running Healthy Active Life Workshops and Weight Loss Support Groups at hospitals | Efsharibari Smile – activities in collaboration with the Department of Dental Health ꟾ Training for Parenting Skills for Healthy Nutrition and Exercise for Parents of Overweight Children | Encouraging Doctors to Recommend Active and Healthy Living as Part of a Concurrent Medication Treatment Program | Restriction of the supply and sale of foods of low nutritional value at points of sale in medical centers.
Sodium Consumption Reduction Program: Joint Activity with Manufacturers Food Product Categories for Voluntary Reduction of Sodium Quantity in Processed Foods | A pilot to reduce the amount of salt in meat and chicken product preparation procedures.
Local Authorities: Operation and Budgeting of the “Efsharibari in the City” Program in 30 Local Authorities | Developing a policy for active and healthy living in local authorities ꟾ Writing and editing a comprehensive and first-of-its-kind online directory in Israel for Local Authorities | “Local Authorities Promote Active and Healthy Living” Pilot | Strengthening Healthy Cities Network | Support for upgrading existing infrastructure for cycling and walking, lighting fixtures and faucets | The obligation of authorities to open sports facilities located in educational and public institutions to the general public during the afternoon and weekends.
Workplaces: Writing and Distributing an Israeli Comprehensive Guide to Health Promoting Workplaces | Encouraging employers to adopt programs to promote active and healthy living. Encouraging employees to come to work on foot or by bicycle | Changing Tax Regulations for Recognition of Fruit and Vegetables Served at Work Meetings as a recognized expense | Establishment of forums for health promoting workplaces.
Social Marketing, Discourse, Campaigns and Promotion Days: Promoting a Public-Media Agenda on Healthy Nutrition and Exercise | Social Networking Pages | Conferences for High School and Kindergarten Health Teams | Accessing information, infographics, recipes, videos and content tailored to different target populations | World Walking Day Event in 200 Local Authorities across the Country | Processed Food Reduction Campaign | Healthy Birthdays Campaign | Sweetened Beverages Reduction Campaign | A week of encouraging breastfeeding and “Here, you can Efsharibari breastfeed” stickers.
The program's name, “Efsharibari”, embodies our responsibility as a state, to allow everyone to eat healthy, be active and feel well, and our commitment to an environment that allows healthier choices for its residents.