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Children diabetes prevention camps

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submitted on 2023-08-14, 06:17 and posted on 2023-09-26, 08:22 authored by Nature Research

For the first time, researchers have assessed a Qatar-based diabetes prevention programme for obese youth to understand its structure and impacts. The Qatar Diabetes Association organizes diabetes prevention camps for overweight and obese youth who are at?risk for developing diabetes. Camps take place over the course of three days, separately according to gender and age group, and include physical activities, games and workshops that increase diabetes prevention awareness, provide information on how to improve food and lifestyle choices, and aim to enhance self-confidence. Primary and secondary school nurses responsible for annually recording the heights and weights of students nominate participants. An orientation meeting is organized for interested parents and consent is obtained for their children to participate. Researchers from Qatar University assessed one such camp organized for girls and another for boys, evaluating a total of 32 participants . They identified a number of factors that might be associated with obesity in these participants. Just under two-thirds of the boys and two-fifths of the girls reported eating fast foods at least twice a week. Most boys and 60% of the girls ate fruit less than five times a week. The majority of participants said sufficient opportunities for exercise existed but only 7% of girls and 30% of boys engaged in any exercise on a daily basis. Many of the youth felt their weight issues affected their quality of life. Most participants developed their own action plans based on what they learned at the camp to modify their diets and activity levels. These plans were shared with the parents to promote collaboration and support. In their study, published in Avicenna, the researchers say that the camps are promising but they do not have a far enough reach. They say the programme could benefit from an evaluative infrastructure that assesses programme impact by finding out how many participants adhere to their action plans after the camp and how many are later diagnosed with diabetes. According to the World Health Organization (, 30.8% of men and 39.3% of women in Qatar are obese. These percentages are significantly higher than the region’s average (13% and 24.5%, respectively). Obesity is an important contributing factor to diabetes. The researchers recommend further evaluation of similar existing initiatives in Qatar to inform the development of a systems approach for the country’s obesity prevention health strategy. They say a new mandate shifting national healthcare system efforts to proactive prevention of chronic disease could facilitate the modification and expansion of diabetes prevention programmes for obese youth at-risk for diabetes.

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Published in: Highlights, Published by Nature Research for Hamad bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press)



  • English


Nature Research

Publication Year

  • 2015

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This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University

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