70% of Saudis are obese, says study

Updated 16 March 2014
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70% of Saudis are obese, says study

Obesity is fast turning out to be a major cause of concern for the Kingdom with seven out of 10 Saudis suffering from obesity, and 37 percent of Saudi women facing problems related to overweight. And to top it all, their problems are compounded because health insurance does not cover obesity surgery.
A recent study revealed that a whopping SR500 million per year was spent by people suffering from obesity in the Kingdom on treatment, especially diabetes which is prevalent among a large section of Saudis, including women. The disease had spread at an alarming rate of 30 percent in the past 10 years.
These startling figures were revealed at an international obesity conference in Alkhobar.
More than 450 participants from various health sectors are participating in the 3rd International Obesity Conference, with 12 speakers from Europe and America, five lecturers from the Gulf and 18 speakers from the Kingdom.
Dr. Ayed Al-Qahtani, consultant obesity surgeon, said the Ministry of Health was currently developing a national strategy to combat obesity, and was in the process of setting up a national center for obesity surgery at the King Fahd Medical City, with five similar centers across the Kingdom in the pipeline.
He also raised the issue of obesity surgery not being covered under health insurance while it is classified as a disease, and is covered under insurance all over the world.
The first day of the conference focused on the importance of having an exclusive section in all hospitals to deal with professional ethics related to obesity surgery, and to ensure that the patient understands his rights and the results of the surgery.
The conference recommended training of doctors since obesity is an independent area differing from general surgery.
Dr. Ahmad Al-Arfaj, regional executive director of Health Affairs in the Ministry of National Guard, said the conference also reviewed the latest methods for prevention and treatment of complications arising out of obesity surgery.
Dr. Abdul Majeed Al-Abdulkarim, vice president, postgraduate studies and academic affairs at King Saud University for Health Sciences, said obesity is one of the most widespread contemporary diseases in most societies.
Quoting from World Health Organization (WHO) statistics, he said there are about 1.6 billion adults world-wide who are obese. Nearly 60 percent of the population aged over 16 in the Kingdom was overweight, placing the country in the 29th position among 194 countries, he said.
Dima, a firm which handles events management, is launching a three-day exhibition-cum-forum titled “Your health is your responsibility” from April 26 in coordination with the King Khaled University and the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties. Its focus would be on obesity and related issues.


National Day events to explore Saudi heritage, civilization

Updated 20 September 2018
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National Day events to explore Saudi heritage, civilization

  • General Authority for Culture (GAC) organizing folk festivals, music concerts, arts exhibitions, during the Kingdom's 88th National Day celebrations

JEDDAH: Poets, authors, artists and folk musicians are gearing up for a host of cultural events organized by the General Authority for Culture (GAC) to mark celebration of the 88th Saudi National Day around the Kingdom.

These activities, in which citizens and residents participate, include folk festivals, poetry evenings, music concerts, arts shows, film events, and interactive activities.

GAC has organized the “Adwaa wa Atyaf” (lights and spectra) event in Riyadh, which includes a range of activities such as falling green balloons, 3D visual shows, horse shows, sand painting shows, and many others.

The Culture Authority celebrates aviation in Riyadh by playing live national music for the passengers. It has also organized an arts exhibition in Riyadh and a pavilion for cultural heritage.

Between Sep. 19 and 27 a variety of cultural events will run in the provinces of Al-Kharj, Al-Majma’ah, Al-Aflaj, and Thadig, including theatrical performances, poetry evenings, poetry recital competitions, children-only events, women-only events, events for the Ensan Organization for orphans, and cultural seminars.

In Jeddah, GAC has organized the “Naghmet Watan,” a traditional Saudi music event, on Sep. 22. It aims to explore the evolution of the Saudi folklore as well as the Kingdom’s civilization and its heritage, cultural and artistic development through folk music concerts performed by emerging young singers.

In Tabuk, cultural events will take place between Sep. 23 and 25. The program includes a poetry evening, a folk night, and a contest for the best poem, picture, tweet, and article.

The “Lilwatan Maw’ed” (the day of the homeland) event will be held in Al-Ahsa between Sep. 23 and 27. It includes a performance of the Saudi traditional Ardha dance, cultural seminars, and a show about the founder of Saudi Arabia, the late King Abdul Aziz Al Saud.

GAC has organized the “Ya Dar Nestahlak” (we deserve our homeland) event to be held in Buraidah on Sep. 24. This event includes performances by a folk arts band, a photography exhibition, theatrical performances, poetry evenings, and cultural seminars.

In Taif on Sep. 25, the Omsiyat Watan or Saudi evening event will be held, accompanied by a lecture about Taif, an art exhibition, and live poetry recitals.

The Laylat Aflam or movie night event is to be held in Jizan. It will feature the national film “Joud,” which discusses the status of the Kingdom in the Islamic world as well as its cultural and heritage status.

GAC has organized the “Qalo Aan Al-Watan” (they said about Saudi) event in Najran for poets and authors. The event also features a documentary film.

In Al-Jawf, the “Ihtifaliyat Watan” to be held between Sep. 23 and 25 will include poetry and writing competition as well as interactive activities for children.