Bullied for being overweight, 16-yr-old UAE student sheds 27kg
Sharjah - A Sharjah Education Council (SEC) initiative that saw 282 male and female students reduce their weights to live healthy.
A 16-year-old student at a Sharjah school has shed 27kg after he was bullied for being overweight. The student, who used to weigh 80kg, was derogatorily referred to as 'fatso', was excluded from groups and even attacked physically, he told Khaleej Times.
Mohammed R. Al Shamsi took part in a Sharjah Education Council (SEC) initiative that saw 282 male and female students reduce their weights to live healthy. The students lost between 9kg to 27 kg during the course of the academic year and were honoured at a ceremony held in Sharjah on Tuesday. They also bagged cash prizes for their efforts.
"I decided to participate in the initiative because I was frequently bullied in school. I worked hard to achieve my goal of getting fit because no one befriended me. These negative things affected my education and self-confidence," said Al Shamsi.
The schoolboy said since he got fit, the teasing has stopped and his self-confidence has increased.
The SEC's 'generation free of obesity' initiative saw over 67 per cent of the students who took part in the initiative lose weight. In this year's edition, the number of students who lost weight increased by 39.2 per cent as compared to last year.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Rajaa Basheer, director of health safety awareness department at the SEC, said 420 students took part in the initiative. She said the initiative is an awareness programme aimed at obese students. The nursing staff at public schools follow up on the initiative through periodic examination of weight, height and body mass index.
"The nursing staff also offered advice and guidance to promote healthy lifestyles such as balanced food and increased physical activity," said Basheer.
She added that during the initiative, participants received help from nutritionists to prepare balanced food plans suitable for their ages.
Basheer said during the academic year, several events were held for the participants as part of the initiative. These included an awareness forum to discuss the dimensions of the problems of the body - nutrition, sports and psychological.
The SEC conducted a field visit to the participating schools in February, while the final evaluation was approved in April.