The health of the nation will be the focus of Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar’s campaign this Ramadan as it targets obesity.

The five-year Sahtak Awalan – Your Health First campaign, which is run in association with the Supreme Council of Health, has a raft of initiatives including, radio and TV programmes, a photo competition and mall dietitians for the holy month to encourage people to embrace a healthy lifestyle for the sake of themselves, their families and their children.

With obesity a growing concern in Qatar, Dr Abdulwahed Zainel, a Qatari graduate of WCMC-Q, has joined experts from the college providing advice to the campaign. Dr Zainel will host Your Healthy Choice, a television programme that will be broadcast on Qatar TV each day from 2:50 pm during Ramadan. Dr Zainel will offer advice and information on the best foods to keep your body healthy and the foods that should be avoided. Dr Zainel said:

We all know that poor lifestyles and obesity are serious problems in our society and that we all need to do more to live healthier lives. Small steps can lead to great strides and what better time to make those small changes in your life than the Holy Month. This year we will focus on healthy eating and the benefits of six major food groups.’

Daily health tips

Complementing the television series is QF Radio’s schedule that will once again broadcast daily health tips from the Sahtak Awalan campaign that are designed to help people transform their lives. Broadcast on both the Arabic and English frequencies at various times throughout the day, the tips will offer advice on the most important foods to eat and the best diets to follow to avoid certain diseases.

Fasting is, of course, a major part of Ramadan but eating healthily at iftar during the holy month could do more than help your waistline, it might also win you a flight to Barcelona or one of dozens of other prizes.

Social media campaign

Sahtak Awalan – Your Health First is asking people to take a photo of their healthy meal using Instagram with the hashtag #YHFpics, or upload the photo to the Sahtak Awalan Facebook page. The photos that receive the most votes will win anything from flights on Qatar Airways to Barcelona, to iPads, iPhones and bicycles.

Finally, if anyone needs any advice or inspiration as to what constitutes a healthy meal, just talk to one of the Your Health First nutritionists who will be in selected malls during Ramadan. Nutritionists will be in Ezdan Mall from 9 pm to 12 am (midnight) from 29 June to 6 July 2014, and then in Landmark Mall from 10 July to 12 July 2014. They will be happy to answer any of your questions relating to diet and the best meals to feed yourself and your family.