UAE: Man weighing 262kg takes up 'biggest loser' challenge with Dh300 prize for every kilo shed

A child who weighs 178kg is the heaviest participant in the new category for students

by

SM Ayaz Zakir

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Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Published: Fri 22 Dec 2023, 1:36 PM

Last updated: Sun 24 Dec 2023, 3:15 PM

The popular 'biggest loser' challenge is back in Ras Al Khaimah — and at least 18,000 people from across the UAE bravely stepped on the scales to join the contest. Among them were a man who weighs 262kg and a woman at 176kg.

Now in its fourth edition, the Ras Al Khaimah Biggest Weight Loss Challenge (RBWLC) has opened a category for schoolchildren this year. Seventy-two per cent of the students who joined were found to be overweight — with the heaviest child weighing 178kg.

"This is by far the highest number of registrations we have received, almost double from last year," said Dr Raza Siddiqui, executive director of RAK Hospital, which organises the event in association with the Ministry of Health and Prevention Ras Al Khaimah.

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The challenge is divided into two categories: physical and virtual.

The challenge encompasses both physical and virtual categories, with active involvement from corporate and school teams.

In the physical category, cash prizes of Dh300, Dh200, and Dh100 are offered for every kilo that the top three male and female participants had lost.

In the virtual category, joiners can get rewards like staycations, health and holiday packages, dining vouchers, gym memberships, and more.

Besides individuals, companies and schools can take up the challenge as a team.

What started as a Ras Al Khaimah initiative has become a UAE-wide movement — with participants coming in from across the emirate. This year, those from Ras Al Khaimah make up 53 per cent of participants, followed by Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi.

Sixty-eight per cent of this year's challengers are men and 32 per cent are women. Four in five are below 40 years old, and 85 per cent of registered individuals fall into the overweight categories.

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More than a competition, the RBWLC is a source of motivation — encouraging UAE residents to prioritise their health.

"Year after year, the competition is ... encouraging more and more people to become fit and we are happy to be part of their transformative journey," said Dr Siddiqui.

With an ultimate goal of enhancing the quality of residents' lives, the RBWLC will host weekly webinars that can serve as an effective weight management guide.

Aiming to enhance the overall quality of life by aligning with national health agendas, RBWLC 24 seeks to empower the community with essential information and education for effective weight management through its weekly webinars conducted by medical experts. This 12-week community drive, which started on December 16, will end on March 4, World Obesity Day, with an awards ceremony scheduled on March 6.


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