Conference highlights obesity as a disease and not a choice
The UAE Obesity Conference has opened registration and announced its keynote and featured speakers for the upcoming fourth edition of its annual conference on November 26-27, 2022. The event will once again feature renowned health professionals from Abu Dhabi Public Health Center (ADPHC) and Mubadala Health, including Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, Healthpoint, and Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
With the support of ADPHC, the world's foremost authorities on obesity will gather in Abu Dhabi for the global conference with "A New Dawn" as its theme. Dr. John Wilding, president of the World Obesity Federation, will discuss how obesity is an illness and not a choice in his keynote lecture. The program will also address the stigma associated with obesity from the perspectives of patients and medical professionals. It will also emphasize obesity-related diseases, such as cancer and gastrointestinal diseases, as well as give the most recent information on the management of obesity and future strategies for addressing it.
H.E. Dr. Omniyat Al Hajeri, the Executive Director of the Community Health Sector at ADPHC, and selected Mubadala Health physicians will speak at the event, along with worldwide, regional, and local pioneers in the field. This includes Professor Donna Ryan, the former President of the World Obesity Federation, Dr. Carel le Roux from University College Dublin, Dr. Ebaa Al Ozairi from Dasman Diabetes Institute in Kuwait, Dr. Nasreen Alfaris from King Fahad Medical City in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia KSA, and Dr. Noor Al Busaidi from the Ministry of Health in Oman.
Dr. Sara Suliman, Consultant Endocrinologist and Diabetologist at Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, and Dr. Mohammed Al Hadad, Consultant Bariatric Surgeon and Head of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery at Healthpoint, who are both on the organizing committee, will co-chair the event again this year.
On this occasion, H.E. Dr. Omniyat Al Hajeri, said: “As part of our continued efforts to raise health awareness and promote a healthy and safe community, we are proud to support the fourth UAE Obesity Conference. It is crucial to generate productive conversations, disseminate information, and facilitate engagements with healthcare professionals to ensure that individuals are equipped with the knowledge and resources necessary to combat disorders such as obesity and seek appropriate care. As early in life as feasible, we advise all members of society to adopt a healthy lifestyle, make appropriate dietary choices, and participate in a variety of physical activities, which will help to improve the quality of life for community members. Through this participation, we hope to not only promote a healthy lifestyle, but also to empower physicians and all other qualified healthcare professionals to support their patients through structured lifestyle interventions and education, and when medically indicated, to provide appropriate clinical care interventions in accordance with international best practices and guidelines. We also wish to encourage the fight against the stigma associated with this disease, as well as the development of emotional resilience in patients and the avoidance of hazardous weight reduction methods and interventions that are not clinically necessary.”
“We are thrilled to host a group of pioneering specialists in Abu Dhabi to debate the obesity pandemic, which, according to a report by the World Health Organization, will affect 2.7 billion adults globally by 2025. While it is essential to comprehend the repercussions of obesity in the world today, this event provides an opportunity to further the dialogue surrounding this growing issue. Together, we will investigate the feasibility of implementing targeted prevention techniques and create a better future for generations to come,” said Dr. Sara Suliman.
Dr. Mohammed Al Hadad said: “We’ve been fighting many pandemics around the world. We saw the world unite with urgency to combat COVID-19. However, the same cannot be said about the obesity pandemic, which has been around for much longer. Obesity is a complex, lifestyle, neurobehavioral disease, and people with obesity are particularly vulnerable. We know that they are at increased risk of suffering from comorbidities, which can result in mortality. Through this year’s conference, we will share the lessons learned through extensive research and innovation and how collectively we can combat and fight this disease.”
Speaking on obesity and cardiovascular disease, Dr. Hani Sabbour, Staff Physician, Cardiology, Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, said: “Obesity continues to be one of the most serious comorbidities in the UAE, having a significant negative impact on a number of chronic diseases, like those related to the heart, as any extra weight places extreme strain on the muscles of the heart. This aggravates both the patient’s condition and treatment effectiveness, potentially creating a myriad of complications. Sadly, this disorder carries a stigma that discourages those who are affected by it from seeking care, as it is seen as a choice, rather than a disease. Events like these help in raising awareness around the most recent studies on the treatment of obesity, providing insights into therapy alternatives for conditions such as cancer and gastrointestinal issues, in conjunction with the impact obesity has on the heart and vascular system. Ultimately underscoring that obesity is a disease and not a choice and its management should be a priority for everyone.”