UAE to develop new plan to combat obesity in children and adolescents

Children’s health has become a pivotal indicator in the planning of future health strategies



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A Staff Reporter

Published: Wed 6 Apr 2022, 5:30 PM

Last updated: Wed 6 Apr 2022, 10:26 PM

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has organised a workshop to develop a new plan for the next edition of the National Programme to Combat Obesity in Children and Adolescents, which will be the first in the next 50 years.

The plan aims to promote healthy lifestyles and enhance the well-being of children and adolescents.

Chaired by Dr Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Public Health Sector, the workshop was attended by Nouf Khamis Al Ali, Director of the Health Promotion Department, as well as representatives from relevant departments.

"Improving the health of children and adolescents is a national health priority as part of the UAE’s responsive and sustainable health care system, which strives to prevent diseases resulting from obesity.

"This comes in line with the UAE’s sustainable development plans and is based on the framework for combating obesity in children. We are forging ahead towards realising this target in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) action plan to prevent non-communicable diseases," said Al Rand.

Children's quality of life

Al Rand stated that the updated version of the National Programme to Combat Obesity in Children and Adolescents is being carefully prepared, based on the results of the previous version that achieved its goals.

According to the latest statistics resulting from the periodic examination of school students, obesity rates among children and adolescents reached 17.3 percent, he added.

He stressed that promoting children's health falls under the goals of the National Strategy for Wellbeing, adding that children’s health has become a pivotal indicator in the planning of future health strategies. "The UAE is seeking to excel and lead in all sectors and fields and this will only be achieved by healthy and capable generations," Al Rand said.

Multidisciplinary programme

During the workshop, Nouf Al Ali delivered a presentation, highlighting the WHO framework on obesity, and the objectives of the workshop as well as the expected results, which will help update the national programme by introducing effective solutions to confront obesity and adopting new methods to prevent or avoid it.

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Al Ali noted that a multi-sector and multidisciplinary programme is being developed focusing on using different strategies and interventions to tackle obesity in the early stages of a child's life and ensuring the presence of interventions at different stages of child health.

The programme also features awareness-raising and educational activities and programmes that target children, adolescents and their families. It will also focus on healthy food and physical activity to promote healthy behaviours in society, in cooperation with several government and private entities, Al Ali said.


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