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Empowering Healthy Lifestyles: RAK Hospital's Webinar Tackles Obesity with 'My Plate Method'

  • Fruits and vegetables should make 50% of the plate, as they contain essential micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and flavonoids, promoting overall good health
  • Unsaturated liquid oils like olive oil, groundnut oil, mustard oil, and sunflower oil recommended for cooking as they enhance HDL (good cholesterol) without clogging arteries
  • Trio of overeating, insufficient physical activity and the consumption of fast foods rich in fat and sugar are major culprits contributing to obesity

9 January 2024, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE– As a significant step in the RAK Biggest Weight Loss Challenge community initiative, RAK Hospital recently organized an informative webinar, titled 'Preparing Your Plate’ as part of the challenge’s weekly OBEFIT webinar series. The session was aimed at educating and guiding the participants of the 2024 challenge on weight management and obesity. Ms Ruba Elhourani, Senior Dietician and Head of the Nutritional Department at RAK Hospital, led the session, covering topics such as the impact of Diet therapy on weight, preventive measures, and the Plate method for weight management.
The webinar addressed alarming global statistics, revealing that over 33% of adults and 39% of children worldwide are overweight or obese, ranking as the fifth leading cause of death globally. In the Middle East and the UAE, 60% of the adult population and 30% of children are obese, primarily attributed to an 80% prevalence of unhealthy eating habits and sedentary lifestyles.

Ms. Ruba Elhourani explained the complexity of weight loss and obesity management, stressing the need for a multidisciplinary approach involving physicians, nutritionists, psychologists, and exercise specialists. She defined obesity as a situation where adults have a BMI above 30 and children exceed the weight range for their age and gender.

The session strongly emphasized the imperative need for a comprehensive lifestyle change, moving beyond mere diet modification. Furthermore, the webinar shed light on the primary contributors to obesity, pointing towards the trio of overeating, insufficient physical activity, and the consumption of fast foods rich in fat and sugar as major culprits.

The detrimental effects of obesity, including medical outcomes such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiac problems, sleep apnea, arthritis, as well as emotional challenges like depression and low levels of achievement, were also underlined.

Ms. Ruba expressed her disapproval of traditional dieting practices, often associated with restricting and depriving oneself of enjoyable foods, leading to cravings and eventual abandonment of the diet with accompanying feelings of guilt and failure. Instead, she advocated for the adoption of the 'My Plate Method,' emphasizing moderation in all food consumption. Ms. Ruba recommended maintaining a medium-sized plate and advised against second helpings and snacking.
In her explanation, Ms. Ruba outlined the composition of food, highlighting the three main components: Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Fats. She suggested that a balanced plate should represent each of these categories proportionally. Proteins, constituting 25% of the plate, include foods such as meat (chicken, fish), dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs), and nuts, essential for the repair and replenishment of body tissues like muscles, bones, skin, and hair.

Carbohydrates, contributing 25% to the plate, consist of grains, fruits, and vegetables. Ms. Ruba recommended prioritizing whole, un-milled grains like rice, wheat, and maize, as they contain more fiber compared to milled rice and white bread, which have less fiber and higher levels of simple sugars associated with diabetes.
Fruits and vegetables, making up 50% of the plate, were highlighted for their low-calorie fiber content, aiding in preventing constipation. Moreover, these foods contain essential micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and flavonoids, promoting overall good health.

In the context of oils, salt, and sugar, Ms. Ruba advised their sparing use. For cooking, she recommended unsaturated liquid oils like olive oil, groundnut oil, mustard oil, and sunflower oil, as they enhance HDL (good cholesterol) without clogging arteries. Conversely, she discouraged the use of saturated fats (butter) and trans-fat oils (margarine) commonly found in commercial foods, as they contribute to increased LDL (bad cholesterol) and arterial blockage. Ms. Ruba strongly recommended limiting the intake of salt and sugar due to their associations with hypertension and diabetes.

In conclusion, Ms. Ruba provided practical tips for healthy weight loss, encouraging the adoption of a balanced, moderate diet, and mild exercises for 30-60 minutes daily. She highlighted specific calorie intake recommendations for males (2000 Calories per day), females (1500 Calories per day), and emphasized the importance of allowing growing children to eat freely while remaining physically active.

Posted by : Editorial Team
Viewed 10111 times
PR Category : Healthcare & Medicine
Posted on : Tuesday, January 9, 2024  11:23:00 AM UAE local time (GMT+4)
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