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Health food first and best fix for obesity: Experts.

JOSEPH VARGHESE DOHA AWARENESS of healthy food habits among the people is the stepping stone to keeping incidence of obesity at the minimum, the Sidra Symposia Series was told here on Wednesday.

Medical experts who had gathered at the event organised by Sidra Medical and Research Center also suggested a health management plan for people with obesity and highlighted that the corner stone in the management of childhood obesity is primary prevention. They said it should be a national priority.

A 2009 survey conducted by the Hamad Medical Corporation and WHO showed 70 percent of Qatari children followed unhealthy lifestyles and that half of them suffered from malnutrition by being either over or under weight. Qatar has the highest rate of obese young boys regionally according to the International Association for the Study of Obesity.

Opening the panel discussion, session moderator Dr Joachim Dudenhausen, medical advisor and head of medical staff services at Sidra Medical and Research Center and a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at WCMC-Q, said that fighting prevalence of obesity in Qatar and elsewhere in the region was a collaborative effort between the public and medicare providers.

Dr Ahmed El Awwa, acting consultant for pediatric endocrinology and diabetes at HMC and instructor in clinical pediatrics at WCMC-Q, opined that medicine and surgery should be considered the last resort to treat children with obesity. "Treatment of childhood obesity is based on child's age and health conditions.

Treatment usually includes changes in the child's diet and level of physical activity. In certain circumstances, treatment may include medications or weight loss surgery. Medicine and surgical remedies should be the last choice as far the treatment of obesity is concerned," Awwa said.

Dr Ellen Wartella, Al Thani professor of communication, psychology, human development and social policy

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Publication:Qatar Tribune (Doha, Qatar)
Date:Jul 13, 2012
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