The diabetes challenge aims to reduce the biomarkers of the disease, especially HbA1c levels and BMI, amongst diabetics, thus lessening the risk of associated complications. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Ras Al Khaimah: A first-of-its-kind diabetes challenge in the UAE has promised to offer rewards up to Dh5,000 for participants modifying their life style and reducing HbA1C.

The RAK Hospital on Thursday launched the RAK Diabetes Challenge 2022 in association with the Ministry of Health and Prevention, Ras Al Khaimah.

The challenge aims to reduce the biomarkers of the disease, especially HbA1c levels and BMI, amongst diabetics, thus lessening the risk of associated complications.

The Ras Al Khaimah-based Hospital has launched the challenge following the success of its weight loss challenge held earlier this year

Launched in association with the Ministry of Health and Prevention, Ras Al Khaimah, the contest registrations opened today for 10-days until September 25.

In the 12-week challenge culminating on December 20, participants will be assessed twice; once in the beginning and then at the end of three months. They will receive a lifestyle score determined on the basis of their current lifestyle habits including their exercise frequency, eating habits, and physical activity levels alongside being evaluated for BMI and HbA1c levels.

The winners will be chosen by the medical jury assigned for this activity and the criteria for judging the winners will be based on positive lifestyle changes, improved BMI and reduced HbA1C achieved during the campaign duration.

Details of prizes

Male and female contestants will form different categories. The top three male and top three female winners in the physical category will win cash prizes worth Dh5000, Dh3000 and Dh2000 respectively whereas the top three winners in the Virtual Category (male and female) will receive RAK Hospital Gift Vouchers and other sponsored prizes. The other top 10, male and female participants, will get a complimentary RAK Hospital Swiss Health Check Voucher and other prizes whereas certificates will be awarded to the top 100 participants

Commenting on the initiative, Dr. Raza Siddiqui, executive director, RAK Hospital said, “Intensive lifestyle intervention can indeed replace prescription medication. Our idea is to help people understand that just popping a pill is not the solution until they are actually committed to altering their lifestyle. There is no cure for diabetes but remission is greatly possible by following a healthy lifestyle. With this move, we want to educate the community on how diabetes can be managed efficiently without much dependence on medications. Our team of expert physicians comprising diabetologist, endocrinologist, dietician, and physiotherapist will be there to support the contestants in their transformative journey.”

The trainers and professionals on the subject will consistently guide the contestants via weekly webinars, daily health tips and educative sessions, supporting them in implementing healthy lifestyle changes and management programmes suitable for their individual requirements.

Dr. J.M. Gauer, CEO of RAK Hospital, said: “We at RAK Hospital are pledging to minimise the burden of diabetes by reducing its complications and providing effective tools. It is known that diabetes is one of the biggest menaces faced by society today as a consequence of inappropriate lifestyle practices including sedentary habits, lack of physical activity, a diet heavy in processed and junk food etc. Moreover, diabetes is a major risk factor for premature death and serious complications including heart attack, stroke, blindness, amputation and kidney failure. However, the complications can be prevented or delayed by making lifestyle changes and this is what we would like people to understand and learn by becoming part of this challenge.”

Prof. Adrian Kennedy, chief wellness officer, Arabian Wellness and Lifestyle Management, RAK Hospital’s wellness arm, stated: “The challenge is divided into two categories: physical and virtual as we would like people from all over the UAE to benefit from this. Participants under both categories will first need to register themselves on the RAK Diabetes Challenge 2022 website to generate their unique registration number.

Physical, virtual challenges

Furthermore, people participating under the Physical Diabetes Challenge Category can report to RAK Hospital premises on September 24 or 25 between 9 am and 5 pm where they will be assessed on their markers and given an HbA1c blood test for free. On the other hand, the Virtual Diabetes Challenge contestants may undergo the tests at any clinic of their choice and submit the results online. In this case, the cost of the test will be borne by the participant.

How to participate

“Since the competition specifically targets the diabetic and pre-diabetic population, the individuals with HbA1c of 5.7 and above will only be eligible to compete for winning prizes. Nevertheless, all participants irrespective of HbA1C will be entitled to receive weekly health tips and participate in the weekly webinars”, added Kennedy.

Type 2 diabetes is partly caused, maintained, and deteriorated by preventable risk factors such as physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, obesity, and smoking. Thus for many patients, lifestyle changes may be the most effective intervention.

People interested in participating in The RAK Diabetes Challenge 2022 can log in to RAK Diabetes Challenge website to register. Registrations are open from September 15 to 25 for physical and virtual categories. Physical category participants can visit RAK Hospital in Ras Al Khaimah from 9 am to 5 pm on September 24 or 25.