Saudi Journal of Obesity

: 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

Shaker Al Omari1, Ian Caterson2, Mohammed Alsaif3, Mahmoud Nahhas4, Manal Marghalani5, Riyad Alghamdi6, Yahia Alkhaldi7, Nasreen Alfaris8, Bassem Safadi9, Ali Almontashery10,  
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

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

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;6:53-55

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 2022 Jun 30 ];6:53-55
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 Obesity control program − Shaker Al Omari

Obesity is preventable.No single solution creates sufficient impact to reverse obesity. Only a comprehensive, systemic program of multiple interventions is likely to be effective.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


Lots of people with obesityStratify treatment − use appropriate interventionAim for goals which help peopleTry to maintain weight lossRetreat if necessary! Even after bariatric surgery

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


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

 Effort for preventing childhood obesity at schools − Mahmoud Nahhas


Improve male and female students’ nutrition behaviorsIncrease physical activity of male and female studentsProvide preventive and medical services for male and female students

 Psychosocial impact of obesity on children and adolescents − Manal Marghalani


Stop fast food advertising on mediaIncrease taxes on high calories such as chocolate and sugar containing beverage and sodaProhibit soda donuts and pizza in schoolsEducation of children and parents about healthy food

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


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

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


Sedentary lifestyles (∼75% inactive)Saudi diet (rich in fat and carbs)Social events in Saudi communityLack of sites (places) for performing physical activitiesLack of adequate structures at primary health and community care (PHCC) hospitalsLack of standards of obesity care (SPO)


Community participation and empowerment (NGO)Nonhealth sectors effective coordination and collaborationEffective screening and health promotionSelf-care strategies (OSME)Staff development and training (essential and advanced)Interprofessional integrated care (doctors + nurse + educators)Structures providing (human, nonhuman, PPG)Set high standards of care (accreditation)Utilize new technologies and digitals (screening, H/E, device, management, follow up)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


Dietary and lifestyle behaviors have changed in the regionPatient related (lack of education, eating nonhealthy diet, and cultural habits)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)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)Environmental (lack of public spaces, cultural barriers, and weather conditions)


Implementation of obesity care pathways at the primary healthcare levelShifting the paradigm to treating obesity first rather than lastPolicies inclusive of treatment strategies in addition to preventive strategiesFacilitation of access to care through community outreach programs and obesity education of the publicUtilization of available pharmacotherapy for obesity and providing access to more pharmacotherapy in the region (government initiated vs. industry initiated)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

Knowledge is powerRegistries/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 outcomeData collected prospectively should be disease/specialty specific for meaningful interpretation of dataRegistries measuring different outcomes can be cross-linkedEstablish 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)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

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 coverageProvide patients with adequate multidisciplinary support servicesMaintain registries/databases and transparent data reportingLobby with politicians − policy makersMedia campaigns − increase public awareness, engage and negotiate with TPP

 SASMBS vision and future directions − Ali Almontashery


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:

GuidelinesAccreditationRegistryCommunicationsKnowledge and researchPublic awareness