Dubai: After handing out Dh2.8 million in gold to slimmers last year during a new initiative, the civic body on Tuesday announced it will re-launch the initiative this Ramadan — but this time the focus is on child obesity.
“Last year’s success inspired us to take the competition further, so we want to encourage families this year to exercise and lose weight,” said Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director-General of Dubai Municipality.
Last year, more than 10,000 people registered in the challenge and lost a total of 13,275 kilograms.
This year’s campaign, held under the slogan ‘Your Child in Gold,’ runs from July 15 to September 1, with the aim of spreading awareness to families about the need to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
“Child obesity is a dilemma faced by many countries, especially Middle Eastern and European nations, due to the addiction of the new generation to electronic devices. We need to protect our growing generation from the negative effects of technology by encouraging them to have a healthy lifestyle, and educate parents about their role in bringing up a healthy generation,” he said.
Registration is open from July 15-24, 9pm to midnight on a daily basis across five sites: Al Mamzar jogging track, Al Khawaneej jogging track Gate No 3, Safa Park Gate No2, Zabeel Park Gate No3 and Al Barsha Park main entrance.
The top winners will be those who lose the most weight during the month-and-a-half long programme. The rules are similar to last year’s initiative, where registered participants have to lose a minimum of two kilograms to win gold, and will receive a gram of gold in return for every kilogram lost.
Lootah explained that priority has been given to families as their rewards will double when they participate with their family members, instead of on an individual basis.
“If you register on your own, you will get one gram of gold for each kilo that is shed. But if you register with your children, then each family member will get two grams of gold for every kilo lost. But children have to lose the weight, for the rest of the family to win more gold,” said Lootah.
Each family is allowed to participate with two of their children, up to the age of 13. There is no minimum age requirement, and even overweight toddlers can participate.
The weight loss contest is sponsored by Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre, who will contribute gold worth Dh200,000.
“Ramadan is the most appropriate time to launch such a health initiative as it reminds us about the many health benefits of reducing weight, and encourages us to take strong steps to change our bad lifestyles,” he said.