LAHORE - South Asian countries will launch the “Run for Healthy Life” campaign, which is aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle among the youth to prevent obesity and diabetes.

“The region has bulk of the burden of endocrine disorder. The state of emergency prompted the campaign to motivate youth to shun physical inactivity and adopt healthy eating habits,” said Dr S Abbas Raza, president of the South Asian Federation of Endocrine Societies (SAFES), while speaking at a press conference along with representative members of SAFES from Pakistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal at the conclusion of 15th Annual PES-SAFES Summit 2017 titled “Together for Endocrinology” at a local hotel on Sunday.

To a query about absence of Indian representative in the summit, he said, “India is fully on-board and the campaign will be launched in the region simultaneously.” Pakistan Endocrine Society – South Asian Federation of Endocrine Societies (PES-SAFES) arranged the four day event.

Dr Abbas Raza regretted that kids and younger generation had been practically confined indoors due to technology. He stressed the need for bringing youth out to the playgrounds to run and play games for healthy life ahead.

The Endocrine Societies from Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will launch this campaign together to create awareness about obesity, one of the most important risk factors of diabetes. The partners of this campaign aim to prevent the increasing prevalence of obesity by reaching out to schools, conducting awareness sessions on changing lifestyles and increase physical activities, especially running. “The competitions of running would be conducted in which not only winners will be rewarded but the participants from bottom half of the competition would be motivated and encouraged for their behaviour change towards healthy lifestyle,” he added. He said that SAFES considered it as its prime responsibility to work for awareness that obesity and diabetes was preventable – all we need is regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle. “Following these simple measures, we can save our future generation from the risk of serious diseases,” he added.

Prof Dr Ali Jawa, President of PES from Pakistan, said that Pakistan was ranked as 9th most obese country in the world, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study published in The Lancet medical journal. “There are very limited entities working to address this concern, which is leading to diabetes and other serious diseases, putting our younger generation at risk,” he added. He was very optimistic that this campaign will not only assist in preventing obesity but also diabetes and other associated diseases.

The SAFES representatives in South Asia including Prof AK Azad Khan from Bangladesh, Dr Ali Lateef from Maldives, Dr Noel Somasundaram from Sri Lanka, Dr Dina Sharistha from Nepal pledged to launch vigorous campaign “Run for Healthy Life” in their respective countries. “Insufficient physical activity is a major risk-factor for obesity, which is associated with multiple co-morbidities,” they added.

While emphasizing upon younger generation to adopt healthy lifestyle, they advised people against eating fast food, soft/energy drinks and sugary items, which were ‘poisonous’ for their health and well-being.

They further observed that the energy drink companies were doing massive advertisements and sponsoring sports events, which easily influenced the kids and younger generation to fall in their trap.

Later, General Manager Novo Nordisk Rashid Khan and SAFES President Dr Abbas Raza signed an MoU for the campaign. The representative members of SAFES unveiled a special logo for the campaign.