Tackling the issue of obesity at the International Diabetes Federation

KUWAIT: The International Diabetes Federation held its congress in Abu Dhabi recently, which saw the participation of more than 160 countries. The congress was held for four days and saw a scientific program that introduced the latest developments in diabetes management and treatment, and alluded to diabetes prevalence and the public health issues that go along with it. The event brought all those working in the field of diabetes together starting with doctors, educators and planners. There were more than 300 renounced speakers on hand who covered all issues related to diabetes, its management and complications.

An exhibition was organized alongside the congress in which around fifty international and regional companies and organizations participated, displaying the latest in the field of dealing with diabetes, its causes and complications. Many of the diseases the world has faced in the past and is facing now are treatable with a pill or injection, others are chronic and obesity is no exception. Obesity is on the edge of becoming a full blown epidemic, as one out of three in suffer from it.

Professor Carel Le Roux from the UCD Conway Institute, School of Medicine and Medical Science, University College Dublin spoke during a round table organized by Novo nor disk on “is the medical establishment prepared to treat the obesity epidemic?” On the sideline of the International Diabetes Convention, he said the case of approaching obesity is the same as any other disease. It is to prevent the disease, then once it is there – to treat it and if left alone, it will lead to may complications.

He said that in fighting obesity one has to make himself feel less hungry, eat less and move more. He said the disease is genetically related and has physical and mental aspects and stressed that even 10% weight loss is very difficult to sustain. “The message of having to combat obesity must be communicated to both patients and health care providers (HCP), and this can be supported by studies as they are very good tools.”

Professor le Roux drew attention to the fact that certain people develop obesity complications at a much lower body mass index (BMI) that what is recognized (30), adding that focus should not be on weight loss as much as it should be on health gain. He said that with the presence of many methods to deal with obesity, starting with diet, then exercise, treatment and finally surgeries, obesity should always be thought off and treated as a chronic disease and it is a fact that some patients do not respond to new medications simply due to biological reasons.

By Abdellatif Sharaa

Back to top button