Dubai hails weight-loss winners
DUBAI // There was a golden celebration on Sunday night as thousands of people gathered at Zabeel Park to applaud the winners of a weight-losing contest.
More than 7,000 people took part in the Your Child in Gold campaign, organised by Dubai Municipality, and adults and children were awarded their share of 40 kilograms of gold worth Dh6 million.
The number of successful participants was three times more than the 2,648 people who shared 16.823kg of gold in 2013.
The biggest winner of the night was Sharada Serigara, from India, who lost 32kg in two months.
“It feels excellent to win. I exercised every day and ate lots of vegetables,” said the 54-year-old. “I joined the competition because I wanted to reduce my weight and wanted to have a healthier lifestyle. The gold was a great plus [to complement my efforts].”
Ms Serigara said that there were three things to keep in mind when embarking on a healthier lifestyle. “You have to have discipline, you need to exercise and you just need to smile no matter what.”
Her daughter, Sushma, 27, who also took part in the competition and lost 5kg, said she admired her mother’s discipline.
“My mother did a lot of exercise. She swam and she jogged everyday for at least 30 minutes and was on a strict diet,” she said. “She has been very excited and conscious about her new lifestyle. She did a lot of massages to keep herself intact because losing weight drastically can have repercussions.
“It was a great family experience and to see my mother energetic. My 23-year-old sister lost 14kg but did not enrol in the competition.”
Somesh Chakrabortty, 14, also from India, was the winner in the children’s category and lost 12kg. “I feel amazing about winning. I was 98kg and did not feel healthy,” he said. “My aunt suggested that I take a blood test, and we saw that I had high blood sugar.
“I decided I needed a change in my life, and it was this competition that encouraged me.”
He said he encouraged others to take part in the municipality initiative. “The gold is a good bonus, but I was doing this for a healthier lifestyle.”
The campaign ran from July 15 to September 15 and was focused on encouraging healthier diets for children.
The competition required people to shed a minimum of 2kg to be successful. The category for children was open only to those who were classified as obese based on their body mass index.
Updated: March 15, 2015 04:00 AM