Fifty hospitals and health centers all over Saudi Arabia will participate in a nationwide program titled “Obesity: The Silent Ghost” to fight the rising rate of obesity.
An initiative dubbed “Hand in Hand” will be launched to helping obese people through direct support, encouragement, incentives and free medication.
“The program will start with a number of objectives, foremost of which is the treatment of obesity and help obese people reach normal and safe weight,” Chairman of the initiative Prince Abdul Rahman Bin Faisal told the Dammam-based Alsharq newspaper on Sunday.
He said prizes will be distributed during a TV program to entice obese people to join the initiative.
“The TV program will enlighten viewers about the hazards of excessive weight and provide them with local and international data on the disease,” he said.
Prince Abdul Rahman said each of the 50 hospitals and health centers will be given 20 obese people to treat and they will receive awards at the end of the program which will continue for six months.
“These health facilities will use their best qualifications and expertise to provide comprehensive free-of-charge medical treatment to the obese people,” he said.
A competition will be held among obese people. Those who lose most weight will receive awards.
Prince Abdul Rahman said two months before the launching of the program, announcements will be made for interested people to join.
The chairman said during the first three months of the program, 10 participants from each group, who have not shed enough weight, will be expelled from the program.
“In the last month, each health facility will nominate one contender to compete in the weight-loss competition and the winners, who have lost most weight, will receive awards,” he said.
The chairman said 10 of the health facilities who have made good achievements will also be rewarded.
To join the program, the contenders should not be less than 18 years of age, should be able to walk and exercise, should not be less than 125 kg of weight and expatriates should be legal residents.
He said in its first phase, the program will receive a total of 1,000 participants.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on Feb 22, 2016.