x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Symposium to address obesity

About 150 experts, including surgeons, dieticians and psychologists, will gather in the capital to look at ways of combating and managing obesity.

ABU DHABI // About 150 experts, including surgeons, dieticians and psychologists, will gather in the capital today at a symposium to look at ways of combating and managing obesity, one of the biggest health problems in the country. Almost 40 per cent of women and more than a quarter of men are considered obese, giving the UAE one of the highest rates in the world. Obesity can lead to serious maladies, such as heart disease and diabetes.

Organised by Sheikh Khalifa Medical City and managed by the Cleveland Clinic, the symposium will include 12 presentations and a panel discussion, according to WAM, the state news agency. Experts will also assess obese individuals and suggest possible treatments. Doctors report that patients are increasingly turning to bariatric surgery such as gastric banding, to tie off part of the stomach, in an attempt to lose weight. "Bariatric surgery is not just weight loss surgery or cosmetic," said Dr Atul Mehta, chief medical officer at Medical City. "It can save lives and help patients with the metabolic syndrome. It is important for those who are good candidates for a bariatric surgery as advised by their own physician to know that gastric banding needs to be individualised. Bariatric surgery is a compromise; it is not without complications."

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