Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has called for greater awareness of the problem of obesity, the second time in less than a month that he has addressed the issue.
In an impromptu address held during the inauguration of a number of national projects, El-Sisi addressed the topic after Health Minister Hala Zayed spoke about the country’s largest-ever nationwide health screening campaign, ‘100 million lives’.
The campaign, launched in September 2018, aims at screening citizens for hepatitis C and other non-communicable diseases.
Zayed said that the screening of 17 million Egyptians as part of the campaign’s first phase showed that 75 percent of Egyptians have an above normal weight.
“There are about 11 million citizens with different diseases, with the most common diabetes, blood pressure, hepatitis C, and obesity. Why do we do this to ourselves?” said El-Sisi.
El-Sisi said that citizens should be educated about the effect of their weight on their health, as it paves the way to disease.
He also called for sports to be a main subject in schools and universities curriculums.
In November the president expressed concerns about the weight of young Egyptians during a session at the World Youth Forum in Sharm El-Sheikh, urging his government and society to establish “a culture of looking after oneself.”