33% Dubai school kids overweight or obese

Dubai Health Authority (DHA) held a smart clinic to raise awareness about childhood obesity and its related health problems.

Obesity is a risk factor for a number of chronic diseases and experts at the smart clinic focussed on the link between childhood obesity and obesity in adulthood.

According to report by the Dubai Health Authority’s Schools and Educational Institutions Unit, 33 per cent of school children from kindergarten to Grade 12 across 176 private schools are either overweight or obese. Of these 14 to 16 per cent are obese.

Dr. Hamed Hussein, family and community medicine specialist in schools and educational institutions health unit at DHA, said, "This statistic reveals the magnitude of the problem. This report is for the academic year 2014-2015, and once we received this report with the details of the children who suffer from obesity, went sent reports to parents highlighting the level of obesity their child suffers from, and we offered them three interventional options."

He added that the feedback the unit received from parents has been very positive. "We are working with the municipality and all schools already have a list of banned foods and foods which should not be provided in school canteens. This has been in place for quite some time, however, the challenge is how to sustain a healthy eating pattern outside school hours. That’s where the role of parents becomes vital and it is not only limited to ensuring their kids eat healthy but also includes ensuring limited exposure to television and video games so that they can lead active lifestyles."

Print Email