Officials move to counter Ramadan weightincreaseHala Khalaf • Last Updated: August 18. 2009 2:41PM UAE / August 18. 2009 10:41AM GMTThe Ministry of Health is hoping to counteract weight gain during Ramadan with a campaign.Ryan Carter / The NationalDUBAI // Contrary to popular opinion, most Muslims gain weight during Ramadan – by gorgingthemselves nightly after abstaining from food and drink between sunrise and sunset andrefraining from physical activity.To counteract the weight gain associated with the holy month, the Ministry of Health haslaunched an intensive four-day campaign – Ahlan Ramadan – to provide information onmaintaining physical health amid the rigours of fasting then feasting, the official news agency,WAM, reported yesterday.“Typically, we have noticed a trend in increased obesity and many [incidents involving] diabetesduring the holy month because of irregular and inappropriate eating after breaking the fast,” saidDr Wedad al Maidor, director of the PHC Dubai health centres and the head of the tobaccocontrol team at the MoH.“[Ahlan Ramadan] will ensure that maximum numbers of residents are targeted to disseminateinformation about the appropriate way to eat and stay healthy,” she said. The public educationcampaign will consist of lectures and interactive sessions presented by medical experts atselected business places, social associations and labour camps across Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman.Dr Ali bin Shakar, director general of the MoH, said: “The fast of Ramadan has spiritualsignificance as well as physical effects. Long hours of fasting may take a toll on the participant’shealth.”A team of dieticians and chefs from BiteRite will also demonstrate a variety of healthy recipesthat can be used during Ramadan.