BEIRUT: Obesity is currently the fifth leading cause of death worldwide, and the Lebanese population seems to be catching up, which is why it has recently become an important public health concern.
For that, the Ministry of Public Health launched “Your health has a limit, take weight off of it,” national campaign to raise awareness on the dangers of obesity, at a conference on Wednesday and under the patronage of Public Health Minister Jamil Jabak.
The ministry collaborated with several organizations and entities on this campaign to shed light on the importance of recognizing obesity as a disease and encourage those who suffer from it to consult specialized doctors.
“This campaign is in collaboration with the Lebanese Society for Endocrinology and the Lebanese Association of Nutrition and Dietetic. We are giving out pamphlets and brochures, and also conducting BMI tests in different areas in Lebanon along with professionals who are willing to answer questions,” Jabak said during the conference at the ministry.
By definition, obesity or extra weight is a medical condition in which body fat accumulates excessively and poses a great danger to the individual’s health.
According to a recent report done by the World Health Organization, Lebanon ranks 6th among the nine countries from the MENA region with the highest rate for obesity in the world, as 32% of its population suffers from the disease.
Professor of Nutrition at the American University of Beirut and President of the Lebanese Nutrition Association Nahla Hawla stressed that the effects of obesity is not purely the individual’s responsibility, adding that it’s also the duty of the community, including schools, universities, parents, and authorities from the health and education sector to spread awareness on healthy diets.
Toufic Eid, Public Affairs manager of the global healthcare company Novo Nordisk, highlighted that it’s crucial to recognize the risks of obesity at the governmental, clinical and public level to promote the importance of the prevention and treatment of this disease, emphasizing that this collaboration results in establishing a road map towards integrated management of obesity, especially that this benefit encompasses health and economic systems, and most importantly, the Lebanese patient.
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