WHO/Europe mission to Malta

Representatives of WHO/Europe's programme on nutrition, physical activity and obesity visited Malta to conduct a workshop on school food policies with representatives from the Ministry of Health and school officials responsible for nutrition. The workshop looked at a variety of approaches and tools to assist Malta monitor and set standards for the types of food available on school premises and in tuck shops.

Malta already has nutrient- and food-based standards in place that govern the types of food available, but is looking at reviewing the scope of this policy. During the workshop participants tested various nutritional thresholds and compared them against a database of foods currently available on the Maltese market.

The objective of this exercise was to see if the thresholds were appropriately strict to ensure that the foods in line with Maltese dietary recommendations would largely be permitted, while foods high in saturated fats, free sugars and/or salt would be restricted. The Maltese government will now conduct further testing before determining how to move forward.