99% of registered contestants categorized as obese with a BMI of 30 and above
14 February 2023; Ras Al Khaimah, UAE: The registration for the country’s biggest weight loss challenge, aimed at raising awareness on Obesity, an initiative by RAK Hospital - the RAK Biggest Weight Loss Challenge (RBWLC 2023) witnessed over 10,000 participants committing themselves to lose the flab and becoming healthier. Individuals from all over the UAE have registered for the challenge, with a maximum i.e. 45% enrollments emanating from the emirates of Ras Al Khaimah. Dubai accounted for 25%, Sharjah 13%, Abu Dhabi 12% and 5% registered from other emirates.
22% of the contestants have registered under the physical category whereas nearly 8 out of 10 participations registered in the virtual group. Additionally, 9 corporate teams have enrolled as well to win the Champions Trophy. The 8-week-long challenge would culminate with an awards ceremony on 22nd March to felicitate the winners.
There is a fairly equitable split of genders amongst participants - 55% males and 45% females. As regards age, 72% are below the age of 40 years while 28% are above 40. Alarmingly, 99% of the participants have a BMI of above 30 and are categorized as obese. Moreover, the maximum weight recorded in the male category is 261 Kg with a BMI of 77.9 whereas, in the female category, the maximum recorded weight is 185 Kg with a BMI of 65.
Major comorbidities recorded amongst the participants include High Blood Pressure, 18%, Diabetes 15% and Arthritis 11%.
Discussing his motivations to accept the challenge, Gary David, a 59-year-old male from Ras Al Khaimah weighing 163 Kg said, “I am participating in the physical category. Whilst my stay in Scotland, I was a competitive boxer. Unfortunately, after a car accident, I was unable to continue boxing and gained more than 35 kgs. Despite my best effort, I have not lost much weight. Since I am a competitive person I decided to accept this challenge to lose weight.”
Another contestant in the physical category, Mariam Jerry (Female, 41 years) from Abu Dhabi weighing 102 kgs mentioned, “More than the reward, I had been searching for a motivation that would push me to lose weight and encourage me towards a healthy lifestyle. Also, as I am a working mother I want to pass this on to my little one who enjoys junk food. I want to inspire my kids to live healthy life.”
Adding, contestant, Sana Khalid (Female, 39 years) from Abu Dhabi, says, “I've been living in Abu Dhabi for 18 years. I weigh 126 kg. I participated last year in the RAK Biggest Weight Loss Challenge in the virtual category. Unfortunately, I was unable to complete the challenge. This year, I'm determined to complete the challenge. Besides, winning a prize is also another great motivation for me.”
Dr. Raza Siddiqui, Executive Director, RAK Hospital, reflecting on the ongoing series of community health and wellness initiatives said “The nation is indeed undergoing a transformation, with a significantly enhanced awareness about and motivation to develop a fitter and healthier lifestyle amongst its residents. We, at RAK Hospital, are delighted with the overwhelming participation, from all quarters of society, in all such initiatives undertaken by us and the enrollments in this year’s edition of RAK Biggest Weight Loss Challenge add further to our belief that we are well on course to become healthiest population not just in the region but worldwide.”
The competition is divided into three categories: Physical, Virtual, and Corporate with exciting prizes for winners across all categories. Inspiring people to ‘Lose Big, to Win Big’, the number of cash prizes has been increased allowing more contestants an opportunity to win. There will be 3 Male and 3 Female winners in both RBWLC Physical & Virtual categories and one corporate team vying for the ‘Champions Trophy’.
This time not only do the biggest losers in the Male and Female Physical categories get cash prizes but 2nd and 3rd runner-ups would also be rewarded. AED 300, AED 200 and AED 100 will be given respectively for every kilogram lost to the first, second and third position holders.
Additionally, the top 3 male & female winners in the Virtual category also get to win big with plenty of prizes - ranging from complimentary staycations, health and holiday packages, dining vouchers, gym memberships and other attractive prizes. There would also be prizes for the people losing the highest percentage of weight both in the Physical and Virtual categories.
The Sponsors for this event include Hilton Hotels, Radisson Hotel, Rixos Bab Al Bahr, Double Tree by Hilton, WAWAN Protein, Bin Majid Hotel & Resorts and Gorilla Gym.