By Abdellatif Sharaa
KUWAIT: Many scientific studies in Kuwait revealed an increase in obesity rates among children and youth of up to 35 percent in males and 28 percent in females, a doctor said Wednesday. The rate in adults is 70 percent for males and 75 percent for females, Cancer Aware Nation (CAN) Executive Committee Member Dr Mariam Al-Otaibi said. “This affirms the need to spread awareness of correct eating habits and the importance of physical activities for children, and enroll them in sports activities at an early age, because sports are among the best means to maintain health and resist chronic diseases, including cancer,” she said.
Otaibi was speaking on the sidelines of a swimming competition CAN launched in cooperation with Haido CAN under the theme “Swimming is Health and Prevention” for children aged 6 to 15 years. The competition was held in cooperation with Kazma Sports Club with the participation of more than 60 swimmers. Dr Otaibi thanked the families of participating swimmers for encouraging them to join such activities.
Director of Hadio CAN Abdullah Khalid said organizing such sports activities encourages all groups to participate and allows for practicing well-liked sports that aims to make the youth aware of the importance of sports as a way to stay free of psychological pressure, and its relation to improving physical and mental health.
He said Haido CAN organizes several sports activities throughout the year and invites everyone to participate and register in these activities to gain health and develop skills in a suitable atmosphere. He thanked Kazma Sports Club for its successful cooperation with the campaign and Haido in holding swimming competitions for all society groups.
Meanwhile, Chairman of CAN Khalid Al-Saleh said CAN’s initiatives have a vision and message as well as goals, followed by feedback to gauge the success of such initiatives. He said as obesity is among the major risk factors for getting chronic diseases headed by cancer, CAN has held many programs to face them.
Saleh said all international recommendations call for containing obesity during the youth period, because it is an active period with maximum energy during which metabolism rates increase, so CAN cooperated with many partners such as the education ministry to implement obesity fighting programs in schools, which brought positive results. He hoped they continue following a forced halt due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Saleh said all this is in the interest of an important group in our society, the youth, and is an invitation to all government and private entities to support such initiatives. CAN is ready for cooperation with all to carry out sports activities to maintain our children’s and society’s health, he added.