The clinical nutrition department at the Dubai Health Authority(DHA) recently completed a training course for firefighters from Dubai Civil Defence.
Hundred and thirty fire fighters took part in the nutritional training course that was held from March until June this year at the Dubai Civil Defence training academy.
The training program comprised of lectures, workshops, body mass analysis and dietary recommendations to help firefighters boost their physical development and performance.
Wafa Ayesh, Director of Clinical Nutrition at the DHA, said: ” What a person eats clearly either boosts or hinders their physical development and given the job requirements of firefighters, it is important that they remain fit and healthy. Therefore, through this workshop, we educated them about the basics of nutrition as well as specifically discussed foods that will keep their energy levels high.”
She added that firefighters need up to 5000 calories in one day if they are involved in any kind of job related strenuous activity on that day. “The caloric expenditure required to perform firefighting tasks is significant, add to that the mental stress that a person undergoes while performing such tasks. Therefore optimal nutrition for firefighters is absolutely necessary. This is required for overall health and to build muscle mass which is important for performing firefighting activities.”
Ayesh added: “We advised them to eat right and eat often as well as eat the right kind of carbohydrates which are important to provide energy and assist with brain function. We also discussed the importance of eating healthy foods that fuel the body rather than slow it down.”
She added that special lectures were held with regard to healthy fasting during the Holy Month of Ramadan. ” During Ramadan, the most important thing for firefighters is to avoid dehydration and lack of energy. We provided them with several healthy eating options for Iftar and Suhur so that they can have a healthy Ramadan.”
She said questionnaires were distributed before and after the training program to gauge to what extent they have understood and adopted the healthy nutrition program.
Ayesh added that the department will continue to hold such awareness programs across several private and public entities this year.