By Meshaal Al-Enezi

KUWAIT: Over 20 percent of Kuwaiti children and teenagers are obese, a senior Kuwaiti physician said yesterday, adding that recent World Bank studies showed that obesity amongst children and teenagers aged 2 to 18 may reach 40 percent.

Speaking at a press conference held Monday, Head of the surgery department at Jaber Hospital and chairman of Kuwait Surgeons Association Dr Salman Al-Sabah announced launching a national campaign to fight obesity amongst children and teenagers, including a marathon to be held on Feb 22, and explaining the future health complications of obesity, such as diabetes and hypertension.

"Obesity is a huge threat in all Kuwaiti homes," Dr Salman warned, noting that unless obesity was fought amongst children and teenagers, 80 percent of them will grow up suffering from obesity complications and have related future difficulties.

Senior pediatrician at Jaber Hospital and member of the Ministry of Health's child protection committee Dr Danah Al-Haqqan stressed that obesity rates among children in Kuwait is 35-40 percent, adding the problem is worsening annually. "Instead of being a symptom indicating other diseases, obesity is becoming a disease itself," she warned, noting that breastfeeding is one of the ways of protecting children from obesity along with a healthy diet and physical exercise, namely for children aged 6 to 12. Haqqan also stressed the importance of walking or jogging for adults.

Dr Wadhah Al-Yaqoot said the marathon will be held as a carnival and will also include cycling. The event organizing company's representative Sara Abdul Aziz Al-Hubail explained that the 3-km marathon will be held on Feb 22 around Jaber Hospital's perimeter from 8:30 am till 6:00 pm.

Terminal 2
The Ministry of Public Works (MPW) announced that 26.9 percent of Kuwait International Airport's Terminal 2 (T2) project has been completed. This came in a statement made in a field visit by MPW undersecretary Ismael Al-Failakawi, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Planning and Development Dr Khaled Mahdi and other officials, during which a presentation was made on the progress of work on the project.

Mahdi explained that the project is a substantial upgrade of infrastructure and air transport as well as a major step towards turning Kuwait into a regional commercial hub by attracting more visitors. He said the project is scheduled to be concluded by 2022 at a total cost of KD 1.312 billion, adding 75 percent of the eight obstacles the project had been facing were overcome. Mahdi also noted that 6,900 people (including 168 Kuwaitis) were working on the project.

Jleeb campaign
Farwaniya municipal inspection teams launched an inspection campaign in Jleeb, said Farwaniya municipality cleaning manager Saad Al-Khrainej, noting that the campaign resulted in arresting 18 peddlers and referring them to relevant authorities pending further procedures, confiscating six truckloads of fruits, vegetables, used clothing and used furniture, removing 20 abandoned vehicles and pasting 163 warning notice stickers on others.