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ICLDC’s I Eat Right has reached 3,500 children in eight months

United Arab Emirates: Thursday, May 28 - 2009 @ 13:37

I Eat Right is the third pillar of “Diabetes. Knowledge. Action”, ICLDC’s award-winning public health awareness campaign, under the patronage of HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, and in partnership with the Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy.

The eight-month campaign reached 4,000 participants, comprising school children, parents and teachers. The healthy eating drive was conducted by Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC) as part of the campaign roll-out in 35 schools.

ICLDC said that the feedback also revealed that a majority of the children who participated are aware of diabetes, as well as the role that a healthy diet and exercise play in preventing the disease.

The children also indicated that they discuss diabetes and healthy eating at home with their families and friends.

“The awareness of diet and exercise is critical for UAE community. We are thrilled that children responded positively to the I EAT RIGHT call for a healthy lunch box and lifestyle,”

said Dr Maha Taysir Barakat, Medical & Research Director and Consultant Endocrinologist at ICLDC.

It has been reported that an overweight child has a 70% chance of becoming overweight or obese as an adult, and obesity is well known to increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease in adulthood.

Maytha Al Habsi, Director of Communications and Public Awareness at the Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy, stressed the need for ongoing education and awareness: “The UAE community needs a constant flow of information about diabetes and healthy lifestyle. We have been delighted to support ICLDC’s “Diabetes. Knowledge. Action” campaign, which has led the awareness drive with activities across the UAE, such as I EAT RIGHT.”

Al Habsi said that the campaign has made good progress in the past three years and that in its second phase, I EAT RIGHT had worked with public schools in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, while the vast majority of the children participating were UAE nationals.

“The Emirates Foundation will continue to encourage and support public awareness initiatives such as this. Our overriding aim is to improve the quality of life for the people in the UAE,” she added.

I EAT RIGHT sessions are conducted mainly on school premises by ICLDC lifestyle educators. They provide children and carers with information on nutrition, exercise, and the best ingredients to ensure a balanced and a healthy diet.

“An imbalanced diet carries the risk of obesity in later years. So, even if a child looks healthy and is not overweight now, parents need to be aware that inactivity and poor diet can lead to metabolic problems later on in life,” Dr Maha added.

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Thursday, May 28- 2009 @ 13:37 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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