Saudi health, education ministries ready for second phase to reduce obesity among students

Updated 15 September 2017
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Saudi health, education ministries ready for second phase to reduce obesity among students

RIYADH: The Ministry of Health recently announced its plans to launch the second phase of its initiative to reduce obesity among schoolchildren.
According to an official from the ministry, the formal launch was made in February this year in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and 160 public and private schools, targeting some 50,000 students at all levels.
Under the program, teams of officials from the ministries of health and education will visit schools and conduct preliminary tests on boys and girls to evaluate their weight and height to determine their level of obesity.
As part of the program, educational lectures on the importance of a balanced diet and physical activity will be delivered.
Within the framework of its efforts, the Ministry of Health, represented by the Media and Health Awareness General Department, has developed many programs to lose weight by reducing the number of calories consumed by the individual and increasing physical activities.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. The problem is global and is steadily affecting many low- and middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings.
Overweight and obese children are likely to stay obese into adulthood and more prone to develop non-communicable diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a younger age. Obesity, as well as its related diseases, are largely preventable.
According to Saad Salman Al-Qarni, from the King Saud Abdul Aziz University for Health Sciences in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is now among the nations with the highest obesity and overweight rates due to a number of factors.
He said research reveals that the rate of obesity is significantly high in the country among different age groups and occupations; at different locations in the country; and among both males and females.
The main factors causing obesity include family history, diet pattern and eating habits, genetic factors, marital status, hypertension, and lack of physical activity.
The major consequences are cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and ischemic heart disease.
Research has stressed the need to raise awareness on obesity and design programs and strategies to combat it in the Kingdom.


Al-Jubeir: Saudi-led coalition ‘working with UN to end Yemen conflict’

The Houthis should engage in the political process and respond to the will of the international community to end the war and end the coup against the legitimate government, said Saudi Arabia's foreign minister. (AFP)
Updated 16 November 2018
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Al-Jubeir: Saudi-led coalition ‘working with UN to end Yemen conflict’

  • Since day one, we said that the solution… is a political solution, says Saudi FM
  • Al-Jubeir: Saudi Arabia is the largest provider of humanitarian aid to Yemen, providing more than $13 billion since the start of the conflict

RIYADH: The Saudi-led coalition is working with UN envoy Martin Griffith to reach a political solution to the conflict in Yemen based on UN Security Council resolution 2216, the Gulf Initiative and the outcomes of Yemeni national dialogue, the Saudi foreign minister said on Thursday. 

“Since day one, we said that the solution… is a political solution, and the solution should lead to the restoration of legitimacy in Yemen,” said Adel Al-Jubeir.

“We support a peaceful solution in Yemen. We support the efforts of the UN envoy for the Yemeni cause,” he added.

“We are committed to providing all humanitarian support to our brothers there. We are also working on the post-war reconstruction of Yemen.” The Kingdom supports the envoy’s efforts to hold negotiations at the end of November, added Al-Jubeir.

Saudi Arabia is the largest provider of humanitarian aid to Yemen, providing more than $13 billion since the start of the conflict, he said.

In contrast, Houthi militias are imposing restrictions on Yemeni cities and villages, leading to starvation, he added. 

They are also seizing humanitarian aid and preventing Yemenis from getting cholera vaccinations, Al-Jubeir said. 

The Houthis fire ballistic missiles indiscriminately at Saudi Arabia, use children as fighters and plant mines across Yemen, he added. 

The Houthis should engage in the political process and respond to the will of the international community to end the war and end the coup against the legitimate government, he said.

Saudi Arabia did not want the conflict in Yemen; it was imposed on the Kingdom, Al-Jubeir added. 

Saudi Arabia worked with other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states to develop the Gulf Initiative. 

This led to a transition from former President Ali Abdullah Saleh to the internationally recognized government headed by current President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

The Kingdom also worked to develop Yemeni national dialogue that led to a Yemeni vision regarding the country’s future.

A new Yemeni constitution was about to be drafted when the Houthis seized much of the country, including the capital. 

Yemen’s legitimate government requested support, and the Saudi-led coalition responded under Article 51 of the UN Charter.