Al-Ahli Hospital Organize Obesity and Overweight Symposium

With an aim to combat and reduce the burden of obesity in the country, Al Ahli Hospital will soon start a new initiative supplying healthy food for people intend to lose weight.

The first of its kind initiative will give people a choice of more than 100 healthy cuisines carefully prepared under the supervision of expert dietitians, said Jamal Hammad, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Al Ahli Hospital, yesterday.

“We are going to start up a sister company called ‘Diet to Go,’ and for the very first time in Qatar will find expert dietitians joining hands with a French Chef to provide healthy food to overweight people,” he said speaking on the sidelines of the ‘Obesity and Overweight Symposium’ organised by Al Ahli Hospital at Katara, the Cultural Village.

“Basically we will have 122 different cuisines. So if anyone wants to go on a special diet or lose weight, they don’t need to go for the usual bored food every day, but choose from a wide selection. We hope to launch this by end of April,” Jamal added.

‘Diet to Go’ food will be produced within the Al Ahli Hospital campus under the strict monitoring of dietitians on calories and other factors which contribute to a healthy meal.

“Guests register with the hospital will be able to have mobile application, so they can log in with a password and user name. Each guest will have a calories intake designed to suit their health condition and needs. Guests will be able to select from the menu, but if they exceeded the designated calorie intake they will not be able to submit the order,” said Jamal Hammad.

‘Diet to Go’ will be commercialised and anyone would be able to order food through subscription.

Some 1,200 medical professionals and experts are taking part in the two-day ‘Obesity and Overweight Symposium.’ The event hosts a number of lectures, discussions, and presentations on obesity and other related diseases.

“The topic being discussed is very timely, especially for the region. It is aimed at addressing the problems connected with obesity and overweight. The ratio of people, even children, with obesity and overweight is on the increase every year. We believe this symposium will address diagnosis and prevention of obesity,” said Hammad.

According to the World Health Organization, in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, Qatar has the highest prevalence of obesity. Worldwide, five GCC and Arab nations are included among the 20 countries with high prevalence of obesity .

At the Al Ahli Hospital, an average of 21 bariatric (weight loss) procedures are conducted every week, including for people from the GCC region.

“We do at east around 15 surgeries every week, but this is with the traditional bariatric surgery or gastric sleeve surgeries. We do another six surgeries with the new technique called folding the stomach, which is basically stitching the inner layer of the stomach to reduce the size. So on an average we do around 21 procedures,” said Hammad.

“We hope this symposium will help people to prevent obesity and overweight. It will present comparing the ratio of obesity in the Middle East and other regions as well as the techniques on how to control and combat obesity, especially prevention from childhood by introducing a helathy lifestyle,” he said.

‘Obesity and Overweight Symposium’ is also the first of Al Ahli Hospital’s large scale events which is Qatar Council for Health Professional (QCHP) accredited.

“This symposium is aimed at providing education and creating awareness. We have 30 speakers from several countries including Holland, the US and Austria. They have come with updated knowledge on how to prevent and manage obesity. On the first day of the symposium we discuss about the medical aspects and on the second day will highlight on surgical procedures,” said Dr Azeem Abdulwahab, Medical Director at Al Ahli Hospital.

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