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.


DiplomaticQuarter: British consulate in Jeddah marks Queen’s birthday

Foreign Ministry official Jamal Balkhaior joins British Ambassador Simon Collis and Consul General Barrie Peach to cut the cake in Jeddah on Monday. (AN photo)
Updated 26 April 2018
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DiplomaticQuarter: British consulate in Jeddah marks Queen’s birthday

  • The theme of the evening was 'Women in society'
  • Ot is worth mentioning that Saudi Arabia this year was also very important for women as many important developments have accrued thanks to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: Collis

JEDDAH: The 92nd birthday of Queen Elizabeth II was celebrated at the British Consulate on Monday.

The theme of the evening was “Women in society” as the UK was also celebrating the 100th anniversary of women being given the right to vote. Also on Monday, a son was born to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. 

The celebration included the attendance of a number of the diplomatic corps, including the head of Makkah branch of the Foreign Ministry, Jamal Balkhaior. 

The British ambassador to Saudi Arabia in Riyadh, Simon Collis, and the consul general of Britain in Jeddah, Barrie Peach, delivered a welcoming speech to the guests.

Collis said: “This year in most British councils and embassies around the world we celebrate under the theme ‘Women in Society,’ and it is worth mentioning that Saudi Arabia this year was also very important for women as many important developments have accrued thanks to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.”

“We are waiting for women to be able to drive,” said Collis, “but what is more important is the growing opportunity of employing Saudi women in different sectors, and I am glad to say that the British government is providing support in this crucial work as we in Britain consider the Vision 2030 a new historical stage.”

Peach told Arab News: “This year has been a very important one in the bilateral relationship between our two Kingdoms as we recently had the visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the UK, where he met the Queen.”

“We signed a strategic partnership with the Kingdom which will see the establishment of a strategic partnership council which essentially says that the UK is very happy and willing to support Saudi Arabia as it seeks to implement all aspects of Vision 2030, and we have a whole range of projects that seek to help Saudi Arabia as you build capacity in a whole range of sectors,” he added.