The My Health 7th Regional Conference recommends implementing the World Health Organization’s policies to reduce obesity

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The My Health 7th Regional Conference, which was organized by the Health Promotion Department at the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah, concluded its activities on Wednesday, after it recommended the implementation of policies and guidelines issued by the World Health Organization that aim to reduce the rate of obesity in the member countries.

The conference, which was held over a period of 3 days under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah, called for reviewing and developing national plans aimed at reducing obesity in the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean region.

The mega-event, which focused on the theme of nutrition as a key factor in preventing chronic diseases and was held under the theme of “Talk, Listen, Change,” stressed the importance of implementing the new strategies of the World Health Organization that focus on food classification and the marketing of unhealthy foods in the countries of the region.

The My Health conference, which was organized by the Health Promotion Department, in cooperation with the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health and Prevention, and with a strategic partnership with both the University of Sharjah and the Arab German Young Academy of sciences and humanities (AGYA), called for developing the existing regional plans that are related to reducing obesity.

During the last day of the conference, the Health Promotion Department honoured its strategic partners and a number of bodies and personalities that collaborated and contributed to the organization and the success of the 7th edition of the event. The department honoured the University of Sharjah, the World Health Organization, and the Arab German Young Academy of sciences and humanities (AGYA), as well as Dr Amal Aljawder, the Moderator of the main sessions of the conference, and the members of the Scientific Committee, in addition to the speakers of the event, and a group of the sponsoring institutions.

HE Iman Rashid Saif, Director of the Health Promotion Department at the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah, expressed her sincere thanks and gratitude to Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah, for her patronage to the 7th My Health Conference, and for her unlimited support to the Health Promotion Department, as well as her directives that serve as a guide to the department to progress forward and attain achievements.

HE Iman Rashid Saif also thanked the strategic partners and the official and private bodies that participated in the conference, as well as all of the event’s speakers, experts, and members of both the scientific and organizational committee, in addition to everyone who worked behind the scenes in order for the My Health Conference to achieve the objectives of its 7th edition with success.

The last day of the conference began with a Youth Plenary Session entitled “Bright Future,” which included the participation of Mira Al Hammadi, Olla Saleh, Sarah Al Mazmi, Maitha Al Hammadi, and Noorah Salah, along with the moderator of the session, Dr Amal Aljawder, a Family Physician from the Kingdom of Bahrain; in addition to the presence of Essam Ali, Social Policy Specialist at UNICEF, and a number of experts and specialists.

The session raised some important discussions, such as the youths’ opinion on fast food and the reasons for its demand, where they narrowed the reasons down to the speed of preparation and the ease of access due to its wide availability, in comparison to the limited number of restaurants that serve healthy meals at high prices.

Ahmed Salem Al Mutawa reviewed his own experience in the National Service, which helped him change his lifestyle and adopt a healthy diet. Other youths also reviewed their experiences in giving up soft drinks and replacing them with natural juices. The session recommended highlighting models that have succeeded in changing unhealthy lifestyles and encouraging the adoption of both a healthy lifestyle and a nutritional diet at the home, school, university, and in public places.

During the 2nd session, the event’s participants discussed the knowledge and attitudes towards energy drinks among young athletes in the UAE, and the role of probiotics in the prevention of diabetes, as well as the role of breastfeeding in promoting maternal and child health. The session also included discussions on a physical exercise recipe for children and youth, as well as the UAE examples of implementing a mass media campaign, and nutrition myths and facts. The conference concluded with a discussion on how to prevent obesity complications, the psychological effects of obesity on children, and the topic of obesity and skin diseases among youths, in addition to natural beauty secrets for skin care.

The 7th edition of the conference witnessed the participation of more than 32 experts and representatives from various countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, as well as 20 specialists and officials from the health sectors in the UAE, and 25 spokespersons that presented educational sessions. The conference also witnessed the attendance of around 2,000 people over its 2 days.

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