Childhood obesity increases diabetes prevalence
Diabetes awareness campaign launched to prevent targeting thousands of students and community members in Abu Dhabi
A diabetes and endocrinology consultant in Abu Dhabi warned of the growing rate at which type 2 diabetes is spreading amongst children under 18 years old as a result of overweight and obesity caused by lack of exercise and reliance on fast food and high-calorie, fatty foods. He also emphasized on the necessity of encouraging students and children to adopt healthy habits and get used to exercising more often.
Dr. Thomas Kunt, Medical Director and Consultant, Endocrinology, Diabetology & Internal Medicine at the HealthPlus Diabetes & Endocrinology Center, in Abu Dhabi said, “Diabetes awareness campaigns should focus not only on adults but also on students at schools starting from young ages. Our educational initiatives in line with the Health Authority Abu Dhabi’s public health strategy are going on throughout the year where our physicians and educators play an interactive role with the community encouraging healthy lifestyles and preventing the spread of chronic diseases.”
On the occasion of World Diabetes Day, Dr. Kunt added, “Moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day, five days a week and following a healthy diet will significantly decrease the risk for diabetes by 60% and thus, all individuals from all age groups are advised to adapt healthy eating habits and to exercise on daily basis such as walking, especially as the weather is getting cooler.”
He also commended the efforts of the authorities, especially Abu Dhabi’s Municipality, in providing paved paths for walking and biking at parks and public areas throughout Abu Dhabi as well as adding more sports facilities throughout the city.
Joining numerous world-wide landmark buildings, HealthPlus Diabetes & Endocrinology Center located in Al Bateen Street was lit in Blue on 1 November 2016 and will be lit for thirty days to mark the Diabetes Awareness Campaign 2016 under the theme “Eyes on Diabetes” and raise awareness amongst the community.
Majd Abu Zant, Chief Operating Officer at United Eastern Medical Services (UEMedical) & CEO of HealthPlus Network of Specialty Centers, explained that UEMedical Group through HealthPlus Diabetes & Endocrinology Center and Danat Al Emarat Hospital for Women & Children in Abu Dhabi, has developed a comprehensive awareness program which is soon be implemented, and would attract thousands of students and community members in order to encourage healthy lifestyles and prevent diabetes and other chronic diseases.
Referring to the comprehensive care that patients with diabetes need, Mr. Abu Zant added, “Our group implements a comprehensive approach in diabetes management under the HealthPlus Diabetes & Endocrinology Center, Danat Al Emarat Hospital and Moorfields Eye Hospital Abu Dhabi including specialties as Diabetes, Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Podiatry, Ophthalmology, Diabetes Education, and more. Pregnant women suffering from gestational diabetes are also managed in conjunction between our obstetricians, diabetologists and fetal medicine specialists, while children with diabetes are managed by our pediatricians and diabetologists.”
“As part of our campaign, we are holding health talks about diabetes prevention in English at the center on November 16th and in Arabic on November 23rd. In addition to that, several lectures are organized and will be delivered by HealthPlus physicians at Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, the Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones, several government authorities and at some nurseries and GEMS World Academy. A talk targeted to students will be held at GEMS Academy Schools too,” Mr. Abu Zant said.
“During the campaign, basic health screenings will be offered to participants that includes blood sugar test, blood pressure and Body Mass Index (BMI), while also offering an invitation for a free consultation with one of our physicians and podiatrists at the center,” he concluded.