More than 10,000 UAE residents have signed up for a weight loss challenge in Ras Al Khaimah .
Ras Al Khaimah Biggest Weight Loser Challenge is a 10-week programme that started on December 17.
It aims to encourage participants to make positive changes in their lifestyles to prevent risks associated with being overweight. It is open to all the emirate’s residents over the age of 18.
Participants have the option to register in the “physical” or the "virtual” category.
Two winners in the physical category – a man and a woman – will get Dh500 for every kilogram they lose.
The participants’ height, weight, BMI and blood pressure are recorded when they register for the event.
They are then given weekly diet and exercise plans. Ras Al Khaimah Hospital will organise seminars on weight loss and healthy eating habits for the participants.
“We expected that around 3,000 would register but triple that number signed up, which gives participants stronger incentive to really shed weight and improve their health,” said Dr Raza Siddiqui, chief executive of Arabian Healthcare Group and executive director of RAK Hospital.
“The number of participants reflects the public’s increased awareness of the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle.”
Nearly half of the participants registered on-site and the rest online.
Winners who register online for the “virtual” challenge will get a chance to win free hotel stays, shopping, and medical check-up vouchers.
Corporate teams can also participate and the winning team will get a trophy.
The programme was first launched in 2018 by the Ministry of Health and Prevention. It conducted a survey of married people during that time and found 33 per cent of women and 40 per cent of men in the UAE were classed as overweight, while 38 per cent of women and 15.8 per cent of men were obese.