Saudi campaign against diabetics targets children

The International Diabetes Care Center is hosting a Ramadan campaign to educate children about healthy lifestyle

Published: Updated:

The International Diabetes Care Center (IDCC) at Prince Sultan Road is hosting a Ramadan campaign for children aged between 9 to 12 years to educate them on ways to make healthy choices regarding their health and lifestyles.

Thirty kids, half of them boys, are involved in the program for three hours everyday during Ramadan. The age is the only required criterion.

The children in the campaign learn how to prepare healthy meals for themselves and learn about exercises to maintain themselves and have healthier lifestyles.

Parents’ role is also vital since they should be providing the center with the daily feedback about their kids’ lifestyle after discussing the program with their kids.

IDCC is the first diabetes center in Jeddah that deals with the disease in a holistic fashion.

Wid Hussein Alharthy, founder of IDCC, said: “We have a great team made up of our nutritionist Rina, our fitness coach and exercise specialist Micha, and chef Loulou. All of them teach children how to cook healthy food, how to read food labels, and how to exercise regularly; basically, how to make healthy choices. We do that through games and activities and supermarket visits.”

“It is difficult to see results straight away because we are focusing on changing behaviors and this happens gradually. We are planting the seeds of accurate information at the moment and hopefully the parents and schools will support us to maintain and practice this info see the results.”

“All I can say is that at the moment both parents and kids are happy and feel that they are benefiting from the information they get from the programs,” Alharthy added.

This campaign will have a positive impact on the society since teaching benefits of healthy living to children at this age the will prevent obesity and spread of many chronic diseases as diabetes.

Alharthy said the center does a lot of activities for children with diabetes but this is the first program that targets all children under the motto 'prevention is the best cure.'