The Pandemic of Obesity can lead to severe COVID-19 outcomes

RAK Hospital’s Free Webinar to guide overweight long COVID patients on effective management strategies

Interactive session on ‘Obesity Syndrome and its Management’ is part of Hospital’s COVID Rehabilitation Program in association with ARISE UAE

11th August 2021; Ras Al Khaimah, UAE: There is probably no single medical condition which leads to more complications and is associated with greater morbidity and mortality than obesity. Time and again it has come to the fore that people with excess weight are at a greater risk of severe illness of COVID-19 and its complications.

RAK Hospital’s upcoming webinar scheduled for Saturday, August 14, 2021 from 11 am to 12:00 noon GST is free for people to attend and will inform long COVID patients on the factors that cause obesity, the impact of obesity on the body and effective management strategies which can help them reduce weight and resume normal life much more quickly. Moreover, experts will also talk about the relation between Obesity and COVID -19, its impact on chronic illnesses,in addition to providing useful tips on tackling these aspects.

Professor Adrian Kennedy, the Chief Wellness Officer at RAK Hospital pointed out that Obesity is one of the major risk factorsthat leads to severe complications in COVID-19. Furthermore, the Health and Lifestyle study conducted by the Hospital’s wellness team across Ras Al Khaimah found out that 62% of the population was overweight, while 51% followed an unbalanced diet. In addition, 26 % were inactive and sedentary while 68% had one or more chronic ailments. It was these statistics which has prompted RAK Hospital to conduct this webinar as part of their COVID Rehabilitation program, a one-of-a-kind integrated initiative enhancing the lives of recovering COVID-19 patients as they struggle due to long-COVID symptoms.

The program was launched in March 2021 in association with ARISE UAE, the Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies, a network of private sector entities led by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).

Commenting on the initiative, Dr. Raza Siddiqui, Executive Director of RAK Hospital said, “Obesity is linked to an impaired immune function and may triple the risk of hospitalization due to the infection. Obese people with long COVID symptoms also experience longer recovery periods and find it difficult to manage their chronic conditions. However, the good news is that proper guidance and appropriate techniques can help reduce the issues and make a person’s transition to normal life much swifter.”

Dr. Elhadi Eltayeb Abbas, the senior most Specialist Internal Medicine at RAK Hospital and a speaker at the webinar said, “Obesity is known to cause and impact Heart diseases, Diabetes, Osteoarthritis, Asthma, and even Depression. He emphasized that Obesity, in fact has a major role to play in COVID and almost all other diseases”.

While MsRuba El Hourani, Head Dietitian at RAK Hospital and also a speaker at the webinar emphasized that, “Maintaining a BMI of below 25, eating nutritious food and exercising moderately every day are the best ways to lose weight. Following the fad of crash diets can be dangerous to one’s health and are often counterproductive”

The interactive session will provide the participants an opportunity to get all their questions answered during the live Q and A at the end. “At any of our webinars we usually answer over a dozen questions”, said Dr H.S. Wilkhoo, Lifestyle Medicine Specialist at RAK Hospital. Some of the questions already received for the Obesity webinar include- ‘Does COVID cause weight gain?’ ‘Does obesity cause Diabetes?’ ‘How can I lose weight?’etc.