Recent data from the World Obesity Federation has shown that 15 percent of the UAE’s young people under the age of 20 will be considered obese by 2025. The World Health Organisation expects this to include 448,000 school-aged children.
In an effort to battle obesity in the UAE, Manchester City FC and Healthpoint have launched the “Healthy Lifestyle” programme, where trained coaches from City Football Schools will visit 15 schools throughout Abu Dhabi, meeting around 1,000 youngsters over the next five months.
The coaches, along with Healthpoint physicians, will give kids fun and interactive lessons on working out regularly, making the right food choices, getting enough sleep and staying hydrated, just like their favourite footballers.
Designed to give students all the information they need to improve their diet and fitness habits at home, in school and as they grow up, coaches from City Football Schools will work alongside teachers to lead the youngsters through classes and activities, including playing football and other games.
With adult and childhood obesity recognised as a major problem worldwide, the Healthy Lifestyle programme is aligned with government initiatives to improve kids’ health.
The programme is supported by the students’ favourite Manchester City Football Club players, including the captains of the men’s and women’s teams, Vincent Kompany and Steph Houghton.
“It’s very important as a footballer to eat healthily and fuel the body for every game,” says Vincent Kompany, MCFC defender and Club captain. “Living an active lifestyle, along with eating well, prepares your body both physically and mentally.”
There will also be an official Healthy Lifestyle booklet to encourage students to keep a sleep and food diary, set challenges to help them be more active, give tips on preparing healthy meals and snacks, and even ask them to write a letter to their “future self” with a pledge to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Free. Until Jun 30. For more information visit uae.cityfootballschools.com.