Mohap initiative to tackle obesity and related issues in UAE
Abu Dhabi - UAE aims to reduce childhood obesity from 14.4 per cent to 12 per cent by 2021.
With up to 70 per cent of young Emiratis being overweight, obesity is one of the biggest issues faced in the country, health officials and experts said during a conference in Abu Dhabi.
"Obesity is a serious health problem that leads to physical, mental and emotional illnesses," said Nouf Khamis Al Ali, deputy director of health education and promotion department at the Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) during the UAE Obesity Conference 2019 themed 'It's time to act on obesity'.
The UAE, as part of the National Agenda for obesity, aims to reduce childhood obesity from 14.4 per cent to 12 per cent by 2021 and sustain or halt the rise in overweight and obesity among adults.
"About 34.2 per cent of students drink carbonated soft drinks one or more times a day; only 15.7 per cent were physically active at least 60 minutes per day in a week; 59.7 per cent spent three or more hours per day sitting and watching TV, playing computer games or chatting with friends; and, 77 per cent ate fast food once or more in a week. This data has showed the areas to work upon for the government. We are one of the countries with challenges of weight issues."
Al Ali said the ministry has launched an initiative named Ma'kom (With You) with an aim to encourage the residents to do physical activities by adopting a simple lifestyle. There are four main pillars under Ma'kom: for healthier life, for an ideal weight, for an active lifestyle and for a balanced diet.