In partnership with Abu Dhabi Police, Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC), part of Mubadala’s network of world-class healthcare providers, launched its Weight Loss Challenge with more than twenty UAE companies participating.
Each company will enlist 50 employees to lose weight and sustain it until ICLDC’s annual walkathon in November. Employees who lose the most percentage of weight will be awarded for their efforts and participants’ achievements will be celebrated during WALK 2019.
The Weight Loss Challenge launched on 16 April and will run from 1 May until 31 October. The initiative is part of the Centre’s award-winning awareness campaign Diabetes.Knowledge.Action, the UAE’s largest and longest-running public health initiative. Aimed at promoting behavioral change, the initiative incentivizes employers to adopt a work culture that supports employees’ health and encourages them to adopt healthier habits.
Colonel Mohammed Obaid Buali, Director of Abu Dhabi Police’s physical activities centre in the human resources department, has highlighted the importance of Abu Dhabi Police’s interest in enhancing, coordinating and cooperating with partners to raise awareness on the importance of sport and to motivate various segments of society to adopt it as a lifestyle and an fundamental part of daily activity.
He added that the Weight Loss Challenge 2019 initiative, which is supported by the General Command of Abu Dhabi Police, Imperial College London Diabetes Centre and the participation of 20 government institutions, is an outstanding initiative aimed at making fitness a lifestyle that is rooted in the various segments of society.
Dr Safdar Naqvi, Medical Director and Consultant Physician and Endocrinologist at ICLDC, said: “Obesity and overweight have become an epidemic across the world, and the UAE is no exception.
“With almost a third of the population obese and even more overweight, the disease has become a burning health issue in this nation and a major contributor to the dramatic increase in rates of diabetes.”
He added: “Through this Weight Loss Challenge, we aim to encourage people to take charge of their health and start making the necessary changes in their lifestyles to shed that extra weight and avoid the ailments associated with it.
“It is for this reason that we are immensely proud to host this inspiring and high-impact public health initiative, in line with our commitment to care for the holistic health and well-being of the local population.”
Employees are selected based on their Body Mass Index (BMI) and weight-loss goals, which should be realistic and attainable in a healthy, sustainable way. Each participant needs to meet strict eligibility requirements and is given a toolkit at the start of the challenge containing nutrition and exercise tools and tips to help them adopt healthier habits and make lasting lifestyle changes.
Participants will then be weighed at three intervals during the challenge – in April, July and towards the end of October – so their progress can be monitored. Weekly weight loss should not exceed 1.5 percent of total body weight. Similarly, weight loss after three months of participating in the challenge should not exceed 18% of each participant’s body weight and total weight loss limit is set at 36% of body weight. ICLDC will present a prize to the employees who lose the most percentage of weight and a trophy to the company whose employees cumulatively loses the greatest amount of weight.
ICLDC regularly engages members of the local community to raise awareness of diabetes and related conditions, and to promote healthier lifestyles. In addition to the Weight Loss Challenge, ICLDC will launch the 13th edition of its annual walkathon, also as part of the Diabetes.Knowledge.Action platform. In recent years, these events have attracted thousands of people to Yas Marina Circuit. As part of the same awareness platform, and to coincide with the event, last year the Centre launched the Walking Challenge. This scheme involved the participation of 41 UAE companies, each of which was tasked with boosting physical activity amongst its workforce. Staff tracked their steps for a six-month period, with prizes awarded to those who moved the most. The winners of the challenge were announced during a ceremony at Walk 2018.