Say goodbye to Rugelach
Say goodbye to RugelachSofia Gordon/Flash90

Yediot Aharonot reported on a new directive that has been issued by the Civil Service Commission prohibiting serving consumption of high calories, fat and sodium foods at meetings, conferences, seminars and other events held by government offices.

The newspaper quoted Ofir Benayahu, the Senior Department Director in the Civil Service that signed the new directive, saying, “In the Civil Service it is customary to serve refreshments and drinks during meetings, events conferences, seminars etc. which include sweet drinks, cookies, sweet pastries, burekas and the like. As it happens in a meeting, an employee will eat harmful foods that contain extra calories, sugar, salt and excessive fat.”

The Commission has instructed government ministries and various departments to act to maintain the principles of healthy nutrition, while setting rules for food and beverage mix that may be resented at meetings and other events.

The report stresses that the directive applies to dozens of those in authority and entities, including all government ministries, courts, the Knesset, the Chief Rabbinate, the Tax Authority, government hospitals, fire departments and more.

The explanation of the directive states that healthy diet and exercises prevent and reduce mortality and morbidity, improves the quality of sleep, is beneficial to mental health and helps maintain alertness and proper functioning during a work day.

In recent years there as been a dramatic increase in obesity that has resulted in morbidity, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hip fracture and more.

The reason for this are, among other things, a lack of physical activity combined with harmful dietary habits, including excess consumption of calories, salt, sugar and processed foods and a decrease in consumption of fruits, vegetable, whole grains, legumes and fresh food products.

The Commission’s recommendation is to include sugar-free drinks such as water, soda, tea, coffee, milk, yogurts without sugar, sandwiches from whole grain bread, crackers and whole grain biscuits, rice cakes, fresh fruits and vegetables and the like. Those who are accustomed to high fat foods such as burekas, croissants, yeast cakes and cookies with have to get used to life without them.

Another recommendation by the commission is in the case of a hot meal being served, it is to include a variety of salads be it fresh vegetables, boiled, steamed or stirred vegetables, whole grains (wheat, bulgur, buckwheat, quinoa, couscous, whole rice) as well as skinless, and non-fried meat or fish. A dessert should consist of fruits of the season, dried sugarless fruits or cake with just a bit of sugar and without margarine.

The High Commission has demanded that sweet drinks be removed from the menu.

At this stage, the directive is to combine healthy refreshments with refreshments served today. This is due to the difficulty in making immediate changes in habits. At continuous stages, harmful foods with be prohibited and only healthy foods will be served.