In a first, UAE CEO offers prizes to residents who lose weight

From children to retirees, people from all walks of life have joined the challenge, which is now set to develop into a larger movement.

Abu Dhabi: Hamad Al Mehyas, CEO of the national health insurance company—Daman, has launched a new first of its kind, initiative where UAE residents will be given rewards and prizes for losing weight. The idea behind this is to promote a better lifestyle and take health seriously.

Hamad urged UAE residents to lose a certain amount of weight over a period of time and share their progress using the hashtag #hmehyaschallenge on Instagram.

First, in the month of May during Eid Al Fitr, he came up with a unique concept of challenging the society to beat him in losing 4kg by the end of May. Now, he has challenged for a 10 kg goal by the end of August.

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To those who showed great results, he presented several awards such as iPhone and Apple Watch.

“The pandemic has disrupted several health habits. By working from home, people end up leading a more sedentary life, snacking and having a low intake of nutritious and high-quality foods. I have also gained weight from many,” Al Mehyas said during a virtual interview.

He explained that the UAE has existing problems with chronic diabetes and obesity. “Research and studies indicated that 31 per cent of the UAE residents have gained weight during the pandemic; 39 per cent have not been engaging in physical activity; over 50 per cent have not been consuming fruits daily; and over 37 per cent consume salty snacks — chips, crackers, and nuts — on a daily basis,” he was quoted by the Khaleej Times.

Even top CEOs and government officials called him to participate. Croatian footballer and former Barcelona player Ivan Rakitic gave his support via social media, encouraging many football fans to get involved.

From children to retirees, people from all walks of life have joined the challenge, which is now set to develop into a larger movement.

CEO Hamad Al Mehyas on August 16 was named best new CEO in health insurance sector for his work overseeing the company, upgrading its digital services and leading a comprehensive response to the pandemic.

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