More than 4,000 people have signed up for a weight-loss challenge in Ras Al Khaimah and stand a chance of winning big cash prizes.
Sponsored by RAK Hospital, the second year of the campaign has attracted a huge response from people hoping to lose weight and reduce their risk of contracting Type 2 diabetes, a life-limiting condition related to a poor lifestyle.
Thousands have already registered to take part since the RAK Hospital Diabetes Challenge opened on August 14, with medics expecting a busy two days of walk-in registrations from Friday.
The three-month campaign, backed by the Ministry of Health and Prevention Ras Al Khaimah, is aimed at people with blood sugar diabetes markers (HbA1c) of 5.7 and above.
A reading of 5.7 indicates pre-diabetes, with any reading over 6.5 showing diabetes.
A total of Dh20,000 in prize money is up for grabs for those making the biggest changes to their markers through exercise and diet changes, in male and female categories – each with a first prize of Dh5,000.
The cash award for the first and second runners-up will be Dh3,000 and Dh2,000, respectively.
“The surge of participants in the contest is a testament to people's dedication to their health,” said Dr Raza Siddiqui, executive director of RAK Hospital.
“It’s inspiring to witness this commitment to change. I urge all those with diabetes or [are] at risk to join this nationwide movement and lead the way in embracing transformation.”
According to the International Diabetes Federation, the number of people with Type 2 diabetes worldwide is forecast to almost double to 136 million by 2045, from about 73 million in 2021.
Over the next three months, RAK Hospital’s healthcare experts, trainers and physicians will provide guidance through weekly webinars, daily health tips and informative sessions aimed at those looking to reduce their risk of developing the disease.
The initiative aims to aid participants in adopting healthier lifestyles tailored to their needs.
“Type 2 diabetes is the most common form, but it’s also the type where lifestyle intervention can make a tangible difference, often leading to the reversal of the disease,” said Dr Siddiqui.
To sign up, register at the RAK Diabetes Challenge website.