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Mar 01, 2018

Philips partners with DHA and VPS to address child nutrition in UAE schools

The prevalence of overweight and obesity in the UAE is alarming, and monitoring strategies and preventative interventions should be implemented.

City, Country  Dubai, United Arab Emirates Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AXE: PHIA) a global leader in health technology, has partnered with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) for the 2nd year running, and VPS Healthcare, one of the largest healthcare groups in the Middle East, to launch ‘Switch to healthy Living’, a nationwide campaign that focuses on driving awareness around the impact of obesity, and promoting healthy eating habits amongst school children.

With rising levels of obesity, and studies demonstrating a correlation between weight and health issues, Philips’ ‘Switch to Healthy Living’ campaign presents an opportunity to impact the lives of UAE residents from a young age.


Obesity amongst children is a cause of concern in the UAE. Statistics published by the Abu Dhabi Department of Health in 2014 showed that 14 per cent of pupils across the Emirate's schools were overweight, while 15 per cent of them suffered from obesity. The UAE National Agenda aims to reduce the prevalence of obesity amongst children from 13.17 per cent (as of 2014) to 12 percent by the year 2021.1


The campaign will demonstrate how children will manage their food options when they are asked to prepare their own lunchboxes. Parents will be encouraged to set a strong example in preparing healthy meals so that their children are influenced and aware of the right nutrition needed.


Özlem Fidancı, Philips Chief Executive Officer, Middle East and Turkey also noted, Our ‘Switch to Healthy Living’ campaign focuses on driving real awareness through the collaboration with our partners to promote healthy eating as a conduit for happier children. At Philips, our role is to empower children and their families to become healthy, live well, and enjoy their lives through meaningful innovations. Addressing children’s health is a top priority that is in line with the UAE national healthcare agenda. The prevalence of overweight and obese children continues to rise as parents underestimate their children’s weight problems. In the broader context, obesity will increase healthcare spending, and will resume the spread of non-communicable diseases.”

As part of the campaign, Philips and its partners will organize a workshop to educate families about the importance of nutrition. Through food demonstrations and interactive taste tests, the workshop will show parents the small changes needed to live healthier lifestyles. Led by Dr. Abir Hobballah, Dietitian at VPS Healthcare, the workshop will provide a forum to discuss simple lunch box recipes.


Students will also have the opportunity to take part in non-invasive screenings. Each will be given an engaging health report card, which provides parents with insights into their children’s health. The findings will be used to drive a long term nutritional program that can be incorporated into the KHDA manual for the DHA.

1 UAE Government | Children’s Health |

About Royal Philips


Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people's health and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips' health technology portfolio generated 2017 sales of EUR 17.8 billion and employs approximately 74,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at

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profile rengin erdinc

Rengin Erdinc

Head of Brand & Communications

Philips Middle East & Turkey

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