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New centre in Bahrain to tackle obesity

MANAMA, June 21, 2015

A new centre opening after Ramadan in Bahrain aims to tackle four-month waiting lists facing obese people waiting to see a nutritionist in the national health service.

The centre is being opened to help tackle an increase in the number of overweight and obese Bahrainis over the past six years, Health Ministry Nutrition Section head Dr Nadia Gharib was quoted as saying by the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.

Almost half of the Bahraini adult male population and one in three women are overweight or obese, according to the latest Health Ministry statistics.

Dr Gharib added that although more people were getting fatter, there were also more people who wanted to lose weight.

"There is rising demand for these nutrition management centres," said Dr Gharib.

"Obesity is on the rise in Bahrain and, in line with that, the demand is increasing for these centres.

"I am not exaggerating when I say there is a long waiting list for these centres - in some cases people have to wait as long as four months."

The new centre will be the sixth facility of its kind in Bahrain and will open at the Yousuf Abdulrahman Engineer Health Centre, in Isa Town.

Dr Gharib revealed some patients who were borderline overweight were currently being turned away because there was not enough capacity to accept them.

"Those people that are borderline overweight are actually turned away as we need to prioritise those that are already obese and overweight," she said.

The Isa Town centre has been chosen for the venue of the new anti-obesity unit due to the large number of patients it handles.

"In four to five years, the (existing) clinics have seen around 3,700 clients," said Dr Gharib.

"These clients are dealt with on a one-to-one basis and are followed up. They are tested and retested and their nutritional intake is managed and monitored.

"It is a lengthy process, but yields extremely positive results. Among those that have been to the centre, 75 per cent have lost weight and only 2.3 per cent gained.  Those are very good results and they are motivation to open new centres to be able to provide this service to everyone,” she added.

The five existing nutrition centres are located in Dair Health Centre, Arad Health Centre, Hidd Health Centre, Hamad Kanoo Health Centre in Riffa and the Hamad Town Health Centre.

On Tuesday, the ministry also unveiled a new mobile health unit that is specifically designed to deal with obesity in children.

The unit will begin its rounds of schools in September and will offer students nutritional advice and help manage their diet. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Nutrition | Health Ministry |

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