Allurion launched the Allurion Balloon (formally known as the Elipse Gastric Balloon) in the UAE to support a community struggling with being overweight and obese and thus the worrying risk of heart damage. Celebrated annually on 29th September, World Heart Day is an initiative of the World Heart Federation (WHF) launched to coincide with the Olympic Games and today, is seen as the world’s most effective campaign against cardiovascular disease. With the Olympics having just come to a close this September, it is a poignant moment of reflection for the UAE community.
Obesity has been the leading health problem in the UAE for many years, where the majority of the population has dangerously high body weights. In 2019, Zayed Military Hospital conducted a survey further raising the seriousness of the obesity problem, highlighting that 70% of the Emirati male population were obese. Also, a recent study from the United States found the prevalence of diabetes in individuals aged between 20 and 44 was 3.3 percent. Overall, the UAE ranked highest in diabetes (4.7 percent) and hypertension and came in a very close second to the USA for obesity.
In the run-up to World Heart Day on September 29, a survey by the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi was commissioned of more than 1,000 UAE residents, which revealed that the most common risk factors reported by UAE residents are also among the most serious causes of heart disease. When asked which heart disease risk factors apply to them, 23% reported they have high blood pressure, 15% said they have diabetes and 21% are obese.
Furthermore, a survey was conducted this year of 1,000 UAE residents by Allurion which revealed that the Coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdowns have further led to dramatic changes in health behaviours, prompting people in the UAE to cut back on physical activity and eat more, increasing their risk of heart disease. Interestingly, besides being less physically active, the main cause of weight gain in the UAE is snacking, with 53% of the UAE residents eating more frequently between meals than they used to. The result is now 47% of UAE residents eat more than they used to do before the pandemic.
Lifestyle factors that play a critical role in the occurrence of heart attacks, strokes and sudden deaths were also common, with 35% of respondents saying they don’t get enough exercise and 32% suffering from high stress. One key area of concern was the high number of unhealthy lifestyle factors reported by people aged between 30 and 39. In total, some 43% said they don’t exercise enough and 36% suffered from stress. These factors were lower in people aged 40 and above, although this group reported higher rates of traditional risk factors such as diabetes (22%) and high blood pressure (35%).
The foundation of a healthy heart is maintaining a recommended weight/BMI for your height and age and an active lifestyle. With this in mind, many of the UAE residents need help achieving successful weight loss to ensure they reduce their risk of heart disease. This means a healthy, calorie-controlled diet combined with increased physical activity and where necessary, proven professional support, such as the Allurion Program.
There is a need for immediate action and Allurion is addressing this much-needed change. The Allurion Balloon is the world’s first and only weight loss device that requires no surgery, endoscopy, or anaesthesia. With over 40,000 patients who have sought out its help to date, the program is available across clinics in the United Arab Emirates and supports long-term weight loss through a revolutionary gastric balloon that creates a feeling of fullness by taking up space in the stomach, providing patients with the chance to take a break from dieting and that all too familiar feeling of hunger.
No weight loss program is a magic bullet, of course, and an effective one is based on good healthcare and science. With this in mind, the program by Allurion is uncompromising in its holistic approach to losing weight and importantly will also support in decreasing the risk of having diseases attributed to being overweight or obese, including, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and polycystic ovary syndrome to name but a few.