Abu Dhabi: An Emirati teenager lost 11 kilos in four months after enrolling with a weight management programme in Abu Dhabi.
Matar Al Aryani, 13, went from an overweight BMI score of 32 to a score of 27 after he received medical care and nutritional advise from the Al Mushrif Children’s Specialty Centre in Abu Dhabi. The clinic is part of Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) network, which also runs a specialist childhood obesity management service at Al Ain’s Al Towayya Children’s Specialty Centre. The two public clinics are the first centres accredited by the emirate’s health-care regulator, the Department of Health, to run paediatric obesity management programmes.
Childhood obesity is known to be prevalent across the UAE, with a third of UAE schoolchildren reported to be obese or overweight. In addition, nearly 14 per cent of children are actually obese, with BMI scores above 30.
In Abu Dhabi, a dedicated taskforce has been working to reduce children’s excess body weight. As the emirate’s public health provider, Seha has set up the paediatric weight management programmes at Al Mushrif and Al Towayya to help children and teenagers to take control of their weight, and live healthier lives.
As part of his treatment, Al Aryani received comprehensive multidisciplinary care, including five paediatric obesity clinical sessions, four physiotherapy visits and three dietician visits, as well as dental care and hygiene advice. The youngster is still under the centre’s supervision, with staff aiming to bring his weight down further while supporting him to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
“Childhood obesity is often a complex issue with roots in genetic and behavioural mechanisms. To tackle the problem, we must analyse the psychological issues that may be underlying the child’s eating habits and promote a healthier lifestyle. Any new dietary regimen should not be restrictive or difficult to implement, but rather adaptable to a child’s daily life. We are very proud of Al Aryani’s progress and we will continue to work with him and his family to continue his journey towards a healthy lifestyle,” said Lina Juny, dietician at Al Mushrif.
“The multidisciplinary specialised pediatric services available at Al Mushrif provide a wide range of offerings such as endocrinology, cardiology, physiotherapy, nutrition, psychiatry, psychology and dental. This ensures that a child receives all the medical, physical and nutritional care he or she needs under one roof and in a supportive environment,” added Dr Amal Al Jaberi, Al Mushrif Children’s Specialty Center manager and specialist paediatrician.