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Director's Message
Obesity and weight gain are defined as an increase in the body mass, particularly the fatty part of it. They result from a chronic imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), overweight people have a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 25 and 29.9 kg/m2; while the obese people have a Body Mass Index over 30 kg/m2.
In its reports, the World Health Organization said that there are 1.4 billion people suffering from weigh gain, and over 500 million others suffering from obesity worldwide. Also, there are 40 million overweight children under the age of five worldwide. The reports pointed out that the rate of incidence of obesity doubled over the period from 1980 till 2008. In fact, obesity had epidemiological aspects all over the world, standing, besides weight gain, behind the death of at least 2.6 million people a year.
The rapid change in diets, inactivity, and lifestyle led to an increase in the number of obese and overweight people in Saudi Arabia, as the World Health Organization statistics showed that the incidence rate of obesity in the Gulf countries is one of the highest rates across the world. According to the outcome of the National Health Information Survey in 2013, the rate of obesity in Saudi Arabia hit 28.7%, while the rate of gain weight recorded 30.7% in the age group of 15 years and above among men and women. Likewise, the rate of obesity among school-age children amounted to 9.3 percent, while the rate of obesity among preschool children recorded 6 percent.
As a result of the high rate of obesity in Saudi Arabia and the emergence of several non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, cardiac disorders, blood pressure, arthritis, cancers, and many other diseases, the Ministry of Health has introduced the Obesity Control Program.
Dr. Shaker bin Abdulaziz Al-Omari, 
Director of Obesity Control Program
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|Last Update: 25 October 2015 01:06 PM