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More than 200 experts discuss ways to tackle obesity in Sultanate, region
December 7, 2019 | 10:26 PM
by Times News Service
The World Obesity Federation Regional Conference and the 6th Gulf Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society Conference were held under the patronage of Dr Ahmed Al Saidi, the Minister of Health, and Dr Akjemal Magtymova, the representative of the World Health Organisation in the Sultanate. Photo: Supplied
 
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Muscat: Two conferences on obesity that were held in Oman will help the Sultanate and other countries in the region deal with and spread awareness about the effects of the condition on people.

The World Obesity Federation Regional Conference and the 6th Gulf Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society Conference were held under the patronage of Dr Ahmed Al Saidi, the Minister of Health, and Dr Akjemal Magtymova, the representative of the World Health Organisation in the Sultanate.

The two conferences were organised by the Oman Metabolic and Bariatric Surgical Society, the National Diabetes & Endocrine Centre, and the Oman Diabetes Association in collaboration with the World Obesity Federation.

“During the three-day event, the two conferences gathered about 200 specialists from the Sultanate and abroad, along with more than 40 lecturers specialised in obesity treatment and surgery from the GCC and the Arab countries, USA, UK and India,” said the Oman News Agency (ONA).



“The conferences aim to identify the obesity disease and its accompanying side effects, study the obesity statistics in the region, and address the prevention methods to reduce the obesity impact in the community and individuals, as well as the medical and surgical treatment solutions of obesity,” added the organisation. “In addition, the conferences touch upon the safety and security of obesity surgery and highlight new obesity surgeries.”

The World Obesity Federation (WOF) Regional Conference aims to expand international cooperation with the international organisations concerned with obesity control, improving the efficiency of health workers treating the obese patients, utilising the international experiences in the fields of obesity prevention, and the ways of dealing with this problem and focusing on the obesity problem in women and children, as well as raising community awareness on obesity within the Sultanate.



“The WOF Regional Conference touches upon obesity in women, challenges from a global perspective, psychological treatment for obesity in youth and adults, dietary intervention in the treatment of obesity, obesity in children and adolescents in terms of medical and surgical treatment, bariatric surgery for paediatric obesity, and other related issues,” explained the Oman News Agency.

“On the other hand, the 6th Annual Gulf Obesity Surgery Society Conference addresses a number of issues, including the best practices in standardising bariatric and metabolic surgery, non-surgical methods in the management of weight regain after bariatric surgery, the new trends in bariatric and metabolic surgery, the history of bariatric surgery in the GCC countries, liver disease in bariatric surgery, nutritional management for bariatric surgery, and other related issues,” added ONA.

Half the region’s adult women (50.1 per cent) and more than two in five men (43.8 per cent) are overweight or obese. The region also suffers from high rates of childhood overweight and obesity – higher than the global average of 7 per cent. In some countries, more than 15 per cent of children are affected. Furthermore, in many countries in the region, more than half of adolescents are overweight or obese.

“National plans and strategies are being implemented across the region to prevent childhood obesity, supported by technical support from the WHO,” explained Dr Akjemal Magtymova. “However, countries are struggling to fully implement these plans, and more focus is therefore required to assess the current situation, identify key challenges and gaps, and devise practical and strategic action plans.

“In Oman, WHO is working very closely with the government and other UN sister agencies in order to provide a platform for stakeholders, including policymakers, analysts, UN, NGOs, the private sector, civil society and government agencies to discuss selected policy issues related to obesity and food systems for healthy and sustainable diets, advocate for a more comprehensive food systems approach in addressing obesity, encourage the country to develop and/or review their action plans for addressing obesity, and identify priority actions that have the best impact on the prevention of overweight and obesity,” she added.

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