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Sat 29 Oct 2016 12:12 AM

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Dubai to host obesity summit as crisis grows in Middle East

World Health Organisation says MENA has 26 million people classed as severely obese, making it a major public health concern

Dubai to host obesity summit as crisis grows in Middle East

A Global Crisis of Obesity summit, hosted by The Economist Events, will take place in Dubai next month as part of the fight against the obesity pandemic.

The summit will be held at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai on November 2 and will assess the socio-economic impact of obesity and its associated diseases, a statement said.

The event comes as Dubai is looking at regulation to address the obesity issue in schoolchildren, according to Dubai Municipality officials.

Dubai Healthcare City Authority chairperson Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein will give the opening keynote address, highlighting the importance of youth engagement in the obesity crisis.

The summit will also bring together some of the most eminent international and regional decision-makers from different sectors including policy-makers and senior-level professionals from the healthcare, pharmaceutical, food and drink, and medical devices industries.

“This summit comes at an urgent and critical time. The disease is escalating in prevalence worldwide and is inflicting health and socio-economic burdens on peoples and governments across the globe,” said Kay Westmoreland, head of Middle East & Africa at The Economist Group.

“We will be exploring and highlighting the best strategies and technologies to prevent obesity with stakeholders from various industries. Some of the main questions we will address include the role of the private and public sectors in the prevention of obesity and its health effects.”

Speakers and panelists will discuss topics such as the social and economic costs of obesity, the role of the food and drink industry, the potential for Public Private Partnerships, and the latest technologies and innovative approaches to curb the obesity pandemic.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 1.9 billion people were overweight or obese in 2014. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has 26 million people classed as severely obese, making it a major public health concern.

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