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.


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.