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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 53-55

Riyadh Obesity Forum Proceedings (December 1–2, 2018). Day 2 Theme: Community participation, success stories, opportunities, and barriers

1 Former President of the National Obesity Program
2 Former President of Obesity World Federation
3 Director of Health Food Policy Program − SFDA
4 Director General of School Health (MOH)
5 Consultant Psychotherapy − Eating disorders and obesity
6 Executive director of health programs (MOH)
7 Family Medicine − Chief Editor of the Saudi Journal of Obesity
8 Director of the Fellowship Program for Obesity Medicine − KFMC
9 Chair, Department of Surgery − Lebanese American University and Rizk Hospital
10 Secretary General − SASMBS

Date of Submission02-Apr-2021
Date of Acceptance05-May-2021
Date of Web Publication8-Dec-2021

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Shaker Al Omari
Directorate of Health Programs and Chronic Diseases Ministry of Health (MOH)

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2347-2618.331871

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How to cite this article:
Al Omari S, Caterson I, Alsaif M, Nahhas M, Marghalani M, Alghamdi R, Alkhaldi Y, Alfaris N, Safadi B, Almontashery A. Riyadh Obesity Forum Proceedings (December 1–2, 2018). Day 2 Theme: Community participation, success stories, opportunities, and barriers. Saudi J Obesity 2018;6:53-5

How to cite this URL:
Al Omari S, Caterson I, Alsaif M, Nahhas M, Marghalani M, Alghamdi R, Alkhaldi Y, Alfaris N, Safadi B, Almontashery A. Riyadh Obesity Forum Proceedings (December 1–2, 2018). Day 2 Theme: Community participation, success stories, opportunities, and barriers. Saudi J Obesity [serial online] 2018 [cited 2023 Jun 2];6:53-5. Available from:

  Obesity control program − Shaker Al Omari Top

  1. Obesity is preventable.
  2. No single solution creates sufficient impact to reverse obesity. Only a comprehensive, systemic program of multiple interventions is likely to be effective.
  3. Multisectoral collaboration including government, civil society, nongovernmental organizations, and private sectors. All have vital roles to play in contributing for obesity prevention.

  Obesity management now: Programs and outcome − Ian Caterson Top


  1. Lots of people with obesity
  2. Stratify treatment − use appropriate intervention
  3. Aim for goals which help people
  4. Try to maintain weight loss
  5. Retreat if necessary! Even after bariatric surgery

  Healthy food program − Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) Top


  1. Public awareness campaigns.
  2. Improving the situation in Schools Canteens.
  3. Encourage food establishments to adopt a healthier practice in businesses

  Effort for preventing childhood obesity at schools − Mahmoud Nahhas Top


  1. Improve male and female students’ nutrition behaviors
  2. Increase physical activity of male and female students
  3. Provide preventive and medical services for male and female students

  Psychosocial impact of obesity on children and adolescents − Manal Marghalani Top


  1. Stop fast food advertising on media
  2. Increase taxes on high calories such as chocolate and sugar containing beverage and soda
  3. Prohibit soda donuts and pizza in schools
  4. Education of children and parents about healthy food

  National Center for Disease Prevention and Control (NCDC) − Riyad Alghamdi Top


  1. Establish a national obesity control committee within the structure of the NCDC

  Management of obesity in Saudi Arabia: Challenges and solutions − Yahia Alkhaldi Top


  1. Sedentary lifestyles (∼75% inactive)
  2. Saudi diet (rich in fat and carbs)
  3. Social events in Saudi community
  4. Lack of sites (places) for performing physical activities
  5. Lack of adequate structures at primary health and community care (PHCC) hospitals
  6. Lack of standards of obesity care (SPO)


  1. Community participation and empowerment (NGO)
  2. Nonhealth sectors effective coordination and collaboration
  3. Effective screening and health promotion
  4. Self-care strategies (OSME)
  5. Staff development and training (essential and advanced)
  6. Interprofessional integrated care (doctors + nurse + educators)
  7. Structures providing (human, nonhuman, PPG)
  8. Set high standards of care (accreditation)
  9. Utilize new technologies and digitals (screening, H/E, device, management, follow up)
  10. Discovery of new effective drugs and new surgical procedures

To overcome the challenges and to implement solutions we need to have: National strategic plan with specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based (SMART) objectives, adequate resources, and standards, including all concerned organizations.

  Management of obesity: Challenges and opportunities − Nasreen Alfaris Top


  1. Dietary and lifestyle behaviors have changed in the region
  2. Patient related (lack of education, eating nonhealthy diet, and cultural habits)
  3. Health provider (Poor understanding of the complexity of obesity as a disease, inadequate education in nutrition science, inadequate training in providing effective lifestyle interventions (i.e., Look AHEAD)
  4. Systems and access to care (unavailability of trained professionals, lack of obesity specialized centers, long waiting lists, lack of information sources, difficult access to obesity management facilities)
  5. Environmental (lack of public spaces, cultural barriers, and weather conditions)


  1. Implementation of obesity care pathways at the primary healthcare level
  2. Shifting the paradigm to treating obesity first rather than last
  3. Policies inclusive of treatment strategies in addition to preventive strategies
  4. Facilitation of access to care through community outreach programs and obesity education of the public
  5. Utilization of available pharmacotherapy for obesity and providing access to more pharmacotherapy in the region (government initiated vs. industry initiated)
  6. Providing insurance coverage for obesity treatment and implementation of strategies for reimbursement for members of the multidisciplinary team (MDT)

  The importance of obesity registry and research − Bassem Safadi Top

  1. Knowledge is power
  2. Registries/databases give surgeons and clinicians data that can be used to track outcomes, identify areas of weakness that if addressed properly can lead to improve patient outcome
  3. Data collected prospectively should be disease/specialty specific for meaningful interpretation of data
  4. Registries measuring different outcomes can be cross-linked
  5. Establish a national registry of metabolic and bariatric surgery (MBS) to track outcomes and ensure safety and efficacy MBS in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)
  6. Establish a national registry to study obesity and metabolic disease with a registry on the “lean” population to identify causes that lead to obesity such as genetic, dietary, and behavioral factors

  Bariatric surgery and insurance − Bassem Safadi Top

  1. Establish a dialogue with third party payers in the KSA to plan a sustainable mechanism to provide patients with coverage for safe and effective MBS and not use arbitrary body mass index thresholds to determine limits of coverage
  2. Provide patients with adequate multidisciplinary support services
  3. Maintain registries/databases and transparent data reporting
  4. Lobby with politicians − policy makers
  5. Media campaigns − increase public awareness, engage and negotiate with TPP

  SASMBS vision and future directions − Ali Almontashery Top


Improvement and development of healthcare services provided to patients with obesity and obesity-related disorders in KSA.


Setting standards and guidelines for obesity and obesity-related disorders practice at KSA. Developing knowledge and proper communication among healthcare providers with interest in obesity management.

Objectives and future directions:

  1. Guidelines
  2. Accreditation
  3. Registry
  4. Communications
  5. Knowledge and research
  6. Public awareness


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  In this article
Obesity control ...
Obesity manageme...
Healthy food pro...
Effort for preve...
Psychosocial imp...
National Center ...
Management of ob...
Management of ob...
The importance o...
Bariatric surger...
SASMBS vision an...

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