Obesity and diabetes: Gulf states warned of a growing epidemic

A participant of the "Your Weight in Gold" contest has his weight recorded in Dubai, in this Sept. 3, 2013 file photo.

A participant of the “Your Weight in Gold” contest has his weight recorded in Dubai, in this Sept. 3, 2013 file photo.

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries must focus more attention on tackling rising levels of diabetes and obesity among their citizens.

This was one of the major recommendations from participants at the International Conference on Diabetes, which ended on Thursday in Riyadh.

Health Minister Khalid Al-Falih had opened the conference on Tuesday.

Speakers included Tawfiq bin Ahmed Khoja, director general of the executive board of the GCC Health Ministers Council and Saud Al-Hasan, director of the Saudi Society for Family and Community Medicine, who was also the president of the conference.

The delegates at the concluding session said that intervention requires comprehensive policies aimed at prevention and treatment of these diseases.

It was decided to form a committee to implement various actions including preparation of data on the current status of diabetes epidemiology; and provide advice to member states on care and prevention.

Members states must also be assisted to promote healthy lifestyles and deal with other risk factors that can lead to diabetes and obesity; and form an international network to empower patients with knowledge.

There should also be the dissemination of research, and collection and distribution of successful treatment experiences in the field.

The meeting also recommended the allocation of human and financial resources for early detection and treatment.


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