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« news and media | Over 13,500 people visit ‘Kulluna Healthy Heart’ campaign booths

At least 50% of those who have visited the “Kulluna for a Healthy Heart” campaign booths at City Center Doha and The Mall have a body mass index (BMI) indicative of being overweight, a senior official has said.

Besides, 25% had high blood pressure, 30% had high cholesterol and 15% had high blood sugar, according to Dr Khalid Abdulnoor Saifeldeen, director of Hamad International Training Centre (HITC) and chairman of Kulluna.

The World Health Organisation has predicted that by 2015, 73% of women and 69% of men in Qatar will be obese. According to the International Association for the Study of Obesity, Qatar has the 6th highest rate of obesity among boys in the Middle East and North Africa region. It is also ranked 5th for having the highest percentage of people between 20 and 79 with diabetes. Currently about 20% of the population suffers from diabetes.

More than 13,500 people, including tourists, have visited “Kulluna for a Healthy Heart” campaign booths at these two venues since its re-launch on June 27.

Introduced in April 2013 by Hamad Medical Corporation’s HITC, and supported by its founding sponsor ConocoPhillips Qatar, the campaign aims to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease, its prevention, available treatments and lifestyle changes that promote heart health with Qatari residents.

The campaign has again gained massive attention and support from the public, according to a statement.

At the stands, visitors are invited to complete a free heath check that includes tests for blood cholesterol, blood sugar, height, weight, blood pressure and BMI. The trained staff also discusses risk factors for developing coronary artery diseases and offers medical consultations once the test results are evaluated.

In addition to the health checks, visitors are also given booklets on how to have a healthy heart as well as healthy fasting. The healthy heart booklet provides important information on maintaining a healthy heart and also highlights the role of individuals in reducing their risks for developing heart-related diseases.

The booklets, available at mosques, Landmark Mall, City Center Doha and at The Mall, give tips on healthy fasting, its benefits and the side-effects of overeating. Kulluna has already distributed over 16,000 healthy heart booklets and 19,000 healthy fasting booklets.

“We have received tremendous support this year for our healthy heart campaign. We are receiving visitors aged between 16 and 70 years and it’s very pleasing to see people being so active and involved with their health,” Dr Saifeldeen said. “The statistics collected upto now show that of the 13,500 visitors, 25% have high blood pressure, 30% have high cholesterol, 15% have high blood sugar and at least 50% of the visitors have a BMI indicative of being overweight.”

“Our staff members at all the stands have shown exemplary commitment and motivation during the campaign and this is a testament to the team work and quality of the initiative by Kulluna and ConocoPhillips. We are anticipating more visitors by the end of Ramadan and look forward to providing this valuable service to the people of Qatar,” he added.

According to an international report, one reason for the obesity trend in Qatar is the lack of exercise and poorly designed pedestrian friendly cities. “Like other oil-rich nations, Qatar has leaped across decades of development in a short time, leaving behind the physically demanding life of the desert for air-conditioned comfort, servants, and fast food.

“Although the type of food eaten has changed, the cultural traditions surrounding food have not. Food is often consumed communally, making it nearly impossible to ensure proper portions. A person who does not eat when food is offered is seen as offensive and shameful.”

Healthy Heart Campaign