DUBAI: A new patient network to support people living with obesity, backed by clinicians across the Gulf and Lebanon, is being launched by the World Obesity Federation.
Designed to raise awareness of the multiple causes of obesity and provide access to information about healthier lifestyle choices, treatment options and ongoing management, the programme marks World Obesity’s first major initiative in the region.
Dr Nasreen Al Faris, endocrinologist and obesity medicine specialist from Saudi Arabia and co-chair of the World Obesity Gulf & Lebanon Network Steering Committee, said: “In some countries in our region a third of our people are living with obesity. This initiative will help people make informed choices about healthier lifestyles and the different treatment options available. Obesity is a complex disease that is driven by a multitude of factors, including our living environment, cultural traditions and genetics. It’s also one of the key health and lifestyle challenges facing our region.
“The patient network is an opportunity for people to share their own experiences and, in doing so, support other people living with obesity to manage weight loss and live a healthy, active lifestyle.”
The Global Patient Network hosts evidence and features on several key factors associated with obesity in the Gulf including: changes in food habits and increasing consumption of fast food; rising levels of childhood obesity; supporting men and women living with obesity and explaining treatment options; and promoting higher physical activity levels.
Speaking in the UAE, Lucy Keightley, Director of Communications and Partnerships at World Obesity, said: “If you are living with obesity and want a source of evidence based information, please join the patient network at www.worldobesity.org/patient-portal — a source of facts and information on obesity. The patient network is an online hub enabling people to connect with other people’s stories and experiences. We are looking for people living with obesity to share their story. By sharing your personal experience, more people living with obesity will have access to the information and support to enable them to live a healthier active lifestyle.”
World Obesity has worked in collaboration with a steering group of leading clinicians from across the region, drawing on their experiences to develop and roll out the initiative. The Gulf and Lebanon Steering Committee met in Muscat earlier this year and will continue to provide expert advice to the Network. The website will be promoted over the coming months via social media and traditional media channels.