Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island to host diabetes walkathon

Published October 22nd, 2009 - 06:58 GMT

More than 10,000 residents are expected to seize the opportunity to pace the YAS Marina Circuit track on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island in this year’s walk against diabetes, according to Dr Maha Taysir Barakat, Medical & Research Director and Consultant Endocrinologist, Imperial College London Diabetes Centre.


WALK UAE, now in its third year, is part of the award-winning public health awareness campaign, ‘Diabetes Knowledge Action’, organised by ICLDC, under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, and in partnership with Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy.


Dr Barakat confirmed that the landmark circuit has offered itself as the venue for WALK UAE 2009 on November 20, 2009.


“We are thrilled that Yas Island has welcomed WALK UAE as its second event after the inaugural Formula 1 activities in the capital,” Dr Barakat said.


Maytha Al Habsi, Director of Communications and Public Awareness at the Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy said “The walkathon is designed as an interactive entertainment and education event for the community during November, the World Diabetes Month.


“It is proven as a great success from the outset in its ability to reach out to educate the community on diabetes management and prevention.”


Daman-the National Insurance Company- has again pledged support as the exclusive sponsor of WALK UAE 2009, a role cemented since the event’s inaugural walk in 2007.


Daman’s CEO Dr Michael Bitzer said: "Daman is very pleased to be the exclusive sponsor of WALK UAE for the third consecutive year. This reflects our contribution in raising public awareness on the benefits of physical exercise in the management of diabetes.


“Through WALK UAE, as well as the several other awareness campaigns that we host, our aim is to help raise the nation’s embrace of a healthy lifestyle.”


Dr Barakat said that walking 30-minutes a day is proven to help combat the onset of diabetes, and indeed to manage the disease. She urged that consideration is given to regular exercise and warned that slim people are not exempt from developing diabetes.


“It is a common misconception to think that reasonable body weight equates to good health. The truth is that visceral fat can build up around the liver, even in people who are visibly thin. Visceral fat can promote the onset of type 2 diabetes.


“There is a simple, smart solution to preventing and managing diabetes and this is to eat healthily and to exercise. Regular exercise can lower the risk of developing diabetes by 58 per cent,” she said.


Dr Barakat confirmed that November’s WALK 2009 at the YAS Marina Circuit has ambitions to attract 10,000 walkers, up 25 per cent from 2008.



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