Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and the Department of Health Sciences at the College of Arts and Sciences at Qatar University have launched a new weight management program aimed at reducing the incidence of obesity in Qatar.
The program, called Smart Weight, is for people wanting to and needing to lose weight but who would also benefit from professional support and advice to achieve this.
The six-month program, funded by Qatar’s Academic Health System partnership, is designed and led by a team of highly qualified healthcare professionals from Hamad Medical Corporation Dietetics and Nutrition department, along with faculty from the human nutrition program and student volunteers at Qatar University.
The program itself is targeting people with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 30. As part of their community service, student volunteers from Qatar University will be assisting the dietitians at Hamad with participant registration as well as body measurements. In addition, faculty from the human nutrition program will collaborate by organizing a workshop to the dietitians involved in this project.
Medical Director for Hamad General Hospital, Dr. Yousuf Al Maslamani, who is leading Smart Weight team, said the program, in addition to targeting weight loss, also aims to highlight lifestyle changes that can reduce the health risks associated with being obese.
“If you are carrying too much weight, you could be at risk of serious health issues, such as diabetes or heart problems. The Smart Weight program highlights the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and a regular exercise regimen as part of an overall eating plan designed to help participants lose weight,” said Dr. Al Maslamani.
“This can seem daunting at first but we will provide support to our participants every step of the way. The aim is, with the right support and advice, committed participants will be able to lose at least 10 percent of their weight over the six months,” Al Maslamani continued.
Director for Corporate Dietetics and Nutrition, Ms. Reem Al Saadi said that the program is open to adults residing in Qatar.
“We are looking for participants from all nationalities, with a BMI of 30 or more, and who are aged between 18 and 65. Places are limited to 500 participants in order that we can provide the right level of support to each person, but we hope to do another six-month program in the future where we can take more participants,” said Al Saadi.
“We will be actively monitoring progress and measuring the overall outcome and success of the program,” she said.
Al Saadi added that the program is not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women, or for anyone who has previously had weight loss surgery.
HMC Project Manager for Smart Weight, Dr. Hatem El Shoubaki, said that interested people can visit the registration desk in the main lobby at Hamad General Hospital (next to the visitor’s lifts). Health information and further details about the Smart Weight program can be found on their website: http://smartweight.hamad.qa.
“This program is free and registration is open to anyone who meets the criteria. We hope that the population of Qatar will take advantage of this unique opportunity to lose weight with intensive support from an expert specialized team,” said Dr. El Shoubaki.