UAE: Win cash prizes worth Dh20,000 for making lifestyle changes in new diabetes challenge

In the 12-week challenge, commencing on September 24 and culminating on December 20, participants will be assessed twice



by

A Staff Reporter

Published: Thu 15 Sep 2022, 11:29 AM

Last updated: Thu 15 Sep 2022, 2:24 PM

The UAE’s first diabetes challenge announced on Thursday will see participants win cash prizes of up to Dh5,000 for making lifestyle changes. Launched by RAK Hospital in association with the Ministry of Health and Prevention, the challenge aims to reduce the biomarkers of the disease, especially HbA1c levels and BMI, among diabetics — “thus lessening the risk of associated complications”.

In the 12-week challenge, commencing on September 24 and culminating on December 20, participants will be assessed twice: Once in the beginning and then at the end of three months. They will receive a lifestyle score determined on the basis of their lifestyle habits, including exercise frequency, eating habits, and physical activity levels.

The winners will be chosen by a jury. They will be assessed based on positive lifestyle changes, improved BMI and reduced HbA1C.

Male and female contestants will form different categories. Top three winners in the ‘physical’ category will win cash prizes worth Dh5,000, Dh3,000 and Dh2,000, respectively. The top three winners in the ‘virtual’ category will receive RAK Hospital gift vouchers and other sponsored prizes.

The other top 10 male and female participants will get a complimentary RAK Hospital Swiss health check vouchers and other prizes. Certificates will be given out to the top 100 participants.

The registrations for the contest opened today, September 15, and will be on till September 25. Over 5,000 people are expected to be part of this challenge.

How to be part of the contest

The competition specifically targets the diabetic and pre-diabetic population. Only individuals with HbA1c of 5.7 and above will be eligible to compete for winning prizes.

Participants under both categories will first need to register themselves on the RAK Diabetes Challenge 2022 website to generate their unique registration number.

Those participating under the physical category can report to RAK Hospital premises on September 24 and 25.

Virtual challenge contestants may undergo the tests at any clinic of their choice and submit the results online.

Prevalence of diabetes

According to the hospital, prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) is increasing worldwide. The UAE has one of the world’s highest prevalence rates at 18.7 per cent and is expected to reach 21.4 per cent by 2030. In addition, approximately 40.7 per cent of adults (aged 20-79 years) with T2D diabetes mellitus are unaware that they have the condition.

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Dr Raza Siddiqui, executive director, RAK Hospital, said, “Intensive lifestyle intervention can indeed replace prescription medication. Our idea is to help people understand that just popping a pill is not the solution until they are actually committed to altering their lifestyle. There is no cure for diabetes but remission is greatly possible by following a healthy lifestyle. With this move, we want to educate the community on how diabetes can be managed efficiently without much dependence on medications.”

The trainers and professionals will “consistently guide” the contestants via weekly webinars, daily health tips and educative sessions, supporting them in implementing healthy lifestyle changes and management programs suitable for their individual requirements.

Dr J M Gauer, chief executive officer of the hospital, said: “It is known that diabetes is one the biggest menace faced by society today as a consequence of inappropriate lifestyle practices including sedentary habits, lack of physical activity, a diet heavy in processed and junk food etc. Moreover, diabetes is a major risk factor for premature death and serious complications including heart attack, stroke, blindness, amputation and kidney failure. However, the complications can be prevented or delayed by making lifestyle changes and this is what we would like people to understand and learn by becoming part of this challenge.”


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