Aug 26, 2009

Warning against unhealthy eating habits after fasting

Dubai: People tend to get more obese and diabetic due to irregular eating and overeating after ending the fast, a senior doctor from the Ministry of Health warned, advising people to eat healthy during the Holy Month. 

Fasting during Ramadan can improve a person's health, but if the correct diet is not followed, can possibly worsen it, it warns. The deciding factor is not the fast itself, but rather what is consumed in the non-fasting hours, the Ministry said. 

It undertook a four-day initiative called Ahlan Ramadan, before the advent of Ramadan, providing information to corporates and workers in the labour accommodations on how to keep healthy while keeping to their religious obligations. 


A panel of medical experts conducted interactive sessions on how to fast healthily and also offered free medical check-ups. "This endeavour will ensure that a maximum number of residents are targeted to disseminate information about the appropriate way to eat and stay healthy," said Dr Wedad Al Maidoor - director of Public Health Centres. 

"The fast of Ramadan has spiritual significance as well as physical effects. Long hours of fasting may take a toll on the participant's health and the initiative reaches out to the community and encourages adequate nutrition and continued health among the residents of UAE," said Dr Ali Bin Shakr, Director-General of the Ministry of Health. 

The Ministry notes that a diet that has less than a normal amount of food but is sufficiently balanced will keep a person healthy and active during the month of Ramadan. But it advises people with medical conditions to seek a doctor's advice as meal timings and medications may need to be adjusted.

"The diet should be simple and not differ too much from one's normal everyday diet," according to Ahlan Ramadan. 

Dr Prem Jagyasi, managing director of ExHealth, the organisers of the initiative, said Ramadan is a great opportunity to focus on bringing back a balanced and healthy lifestyle in people's lives who do not normally watch their eating habits. "Ramadan requires to give the stomach a break, and by doing so one will be able to break down and expel the collected toxins from body," he said, but notes that it is very important to understand the proper practice of eating healthy.

Though the initiative ended on Monday, the panel of doctors are still available to reach corporates interested in providing the healthy eating initiative to their staff, he said.

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