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The awareness campaign focuses on tackling the issue of childhood obesity by promoting lifestyle changes that can address the root cause of the concern, by reaching out to community groups, schools, and key influencers in a child's life. Today’s event saw a number of mothers along with their children, interacting with a nutritionist and a fitness expert, who shared valuable insights & demonstrations for the children. They were joined by Blue Planet Green People (BPGP), a retail initiative that provides organic and natural alternatives to conventional grocery offerings and lifestyle products.
Dr Hayder Al Zubaidy, CEO of Canadian Specialist Hospital said, “As we all have recently learned, obesity has become a bigger threat to global health than child hunger. This is a matter of great concern to us as healthcare providers and it pushes us to respond proactively. The expanding middle class in progressing nations like ours is prone to a host of life-threatening conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and hypertension, which are further aggravated by obesity. A substantial difference can only be made if the government and private medical institutions come together to raise awareness and educate the new generation on the long-term and lifestyle implications of obesity and how to prevent it.”
Recent medical reports indicate obesity is a bigger threat to children than malnutrition in most parts of the world, and the UAE is placed as the fifth most obese country in the world. The UAE and the region also rank high in other lifestyle-related diseases including diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which indicates serious lifestyle issues that need to be tackled. The effort, in continuation of a series of initiatives under the ‘ACT NOW’ campaign, was held with the aim of reducing the burden of chronic disease and other illnesses caused or compounded by childhood obesity and informing society of the host of better lifestyle choices availbe for everyone.
Dr. Nabeela Shafaqat, Specialist Nutritionist from CSH said: “We have seen an alarming rise in the number of obese patients at our hospital, the majority of whom are from younger age groups. Often, parents do not realize the long-term effect of the family’s lifestyle on children. The UAE has become synonymous with fast-food led diets, less physical exercise and hours of playing games on gadgets for children. A healthy and active lifestyle needs to be encouraged for children, not just to protect them from chronic illnesses, but also to aid their overall development and confidence.”
Anitha Vinesh from Blue Planet Green People said, “BPGP is a group of socially aware individuals from different walks of life with one common passion to give back to our planet and society and with a single goal of generating awareness and encouraging an eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyle, through healthier food choices and habits. We share a collective vision with CSH of an active and healthy future generation that can be achieved through a green lifestyle.”
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To learn more and participate in ACT NOW, please visit CSH’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/