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Dr Raza Siddiqui, excutive director RAK Hospital, with Khalid Abdulla Al Shehhi, Director of the Representative Office, Ministry of Health and Prevention, during the announcement of the ‘RAK Biggest Weight Loser Challenge’ Image Credit: Supplied

Ras Al Khaimah: Continuing with its commitment towards a fitter and healthier UAE and in line with the country’s vision and national agenda, which aims to reduce obesity, RAK Hospital, in association with the Ministry of Health and Prevention, Ras Al Khaimah, today announced the country’s largest weight-loss competition, the ‘RAK Biggest Weight Loser Challenge’ (RBWL).

The ten-week challenge that commences on December 17, 2021, and culminates on ‘World Obesity Day’ on March 4, 2022, is expecting participation from more than 3,000 people across the UAE.

Winners under all three categories will be announced on March 4 and felicitated at an exclusive awards ceremony. There will be a total of five winners: Two winners each — one male and one female — in the physical and virtual categories and one Corporate team will clinch the team trophy.

Registration now open

Registration is now open. To know more about the challenge, rules and regulations, details on webinars; visit http://www.rakweightlosschallenge.com

Divided into three distinct categories — Physical, Virtual, and Corporate — the challenge calls upon all UAE nationals and residents to come forward and become part of this health movement. What’s more, they also get to win big — with Dh500 to be won for each kilo lost in the Physical category. The winner stands to earn thousands of dirhams through losing weight.

There are other exciting prizes in the Virtual and Corporate category team events as well, apart from the ‘Annual Weight Losers Trophy’. Participants get ten weeks’ time to become leaner, stronger, fitter — and richer as well!

The challenge, that was launched at RAK Hospital in the presence of Chief Guest Khalid Abdulla Al Shehhi, Director of the Representative Office, Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) — Ras Al Khaimah, will begin with the weighing of the participating candidates under the Physical Category from December 17-19 at the hospital premises. A team of doctors, nurses and support staff will be available to measure the weight and other vital parameters of the participants and register them for

Virtual and team categories

UAE residents who are keen on participating in the contest but are unable to attend the physical event, can participate through ‘Virtual Category’ wherein they weigh in at their local clinic and upload the authenticated registration form on the contest website. And for those who love teamwork can participate via the ‘Corporate Teams Challenge’ category.

Moreover, the winners get to win big with plenty of prizes to be won under each category ranging from cash prizes, complimentary staycations, health and holiday packages, dining vouchers.

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Dr Raza Siddiqui, Khalid Abdulla Al Shehhi and Dr Jean-Marc Guaer at the Press conference. Image Credit: Supplied

“We invite all UAE residents to be part of this novel initiative, which aims to motivate people of all ages to become a better version of themselves by getting fitter and healthier. Even though the pandemic has moved our focus on health and wellness, many of us are still unaware of the complications that obesity poses. Our holistic campaign will not only motivate the community members to take charge of their health, but will also guide them in every step of their journey through individualized charts, weekly nutrition and exercise tips, webinars, and customised solutions to achieve the desired outcome”, said Dr Raza Siddiqui, executive director at RAK Hospital.

Diet tips

The UAE is ranked fifth in the Global Obesity Index with 40.1 per cent of the adult population, 40 per cent of those between 11 and 16 years, and 20 per cent of children under the age of 11 are classified as obese.

During the ten-week period, the participants will be given diet tips by nutritionists. Webinars by experts on various topics relating to obesity, lifestyle management, myths of weight loss will also be conducted. Free webinars will be held every Saturday, starting December 25, and will run until Feb 26, 2022.

Dr Jean-Marc Guaer, CEO, RAK Hospital, commented: “Wrong food choices, lack of exercise and obesity are often the precursors to health issues and sometimes even serious conditions and diseases. Adequate education and proper guidance are the key factors to mitigate the effects of obesity. We at RAK Hospital are day by day at the forefront of helping our community to overcome obesity-related conditions and strongly believe that prevention is always better than cure. It is with this in mind that we have come up with the ‘Biggest Weight Loser’ initiative, to help obese members of the community through in-depth assessment, education and guidance paired with the additional incentive of some fantastic rewards.”

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Fighting depression and poor performance

Providing further details, Prof. Adrian Kennedy, chief wellness officer, Arabian Wellness and Lifestyle Management, said, “Almost 50 per cent of the Emirati population, including children, is overweight. As a consequence, a large section of the adult population is diabetic and prone to cardiac diseases. In children, this results in depression and poor performance. Our ten-week RAK ‘Biggest Weight Loser’ challenge is not only aimed at Ras Al Khaimah residents, but our virtual category invites residents from all emirates to participate from the comfort of their homes. We also have an exciting corporate team challenge challenging other corporates for the biggest weight losers’ trophy.”