WHO launches guide on healthy food at sports events

by Ella

Today marks the launch of an innovative initiative from the World Health Organization (WHO) aimed at transforming the culinary landscape of sports events. Titled “Healthier food and healthier food environments at sports events,” this pioneering guide offers a strategic roadmap for organizers to usher in a new era of healthier food choices. Developed in collaboration with Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health, the guide presents five pivotal actions to establish nourishing food options and foster healthier food environments within and around sports stadiums, encompassing everything from enhancing menu offerings to curbing detrimental marketing practices.

This comprehensive action guide charts a course for tangible change during the planning, operational, and post-event phases of sports gatherings. Beyond its influence on event organizers, the publication extends its reach to governments, local authorities, and sports venue managers, who can adopt its recommendations to formulate robust public food procurement and service policies applicable to sporting settings at large.


Recognizing that wholesome, safe, and sustainable diets are fundamental for individual and global well-being, the guide positions sports events as a pivotal platform to exemplify and advocate for healthy eating as an integral facet of a balanced lifestyle. The high-profile nature of major sports events presents a golden opportunity to effect broader positive shifts in perception, as these occasions command the attention of billions of fans globally, fostering favorable associations with more nourishing food and beverage choices.


In a landmark collaboration during 2022, WHO partnered with Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to spearhead a health-focused culinary approach at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. Notably, over 30% of menu items featured at this historic event were aligned with WHO standards for a wholesome nutritional profile, embodying a resounding success in championing health on a grand scale.


Drawing inspiration from the triumphs of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, this action guide stands as a transformative model for forthcoming sports events, positioned to combat overweight and obesity as well as diet-related noncommunicable diseases. Its overarching goal is to ignite momentum towards enhancing population health and overall well-being, thereby reshaping the role of sports events in advancing this noble endeavor.




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