Tahamas initiative aims at detecting weight and weight related health problems at early ages in order to prevent complication, and improving the lifestyle and eating habits of the schoolchildren at early age to prevent future health problems.
The initiative assesses the weight and height of students and compares them against the WHO growth charts (2007), to advise when required methods to be applied by schools and parents to improve the lifestyle and eating habits of their children.
The key objective of the project is to coordinate healthy eating and physical activity policies and practices through a school health council and school health coordinator, via understanding the current status and assessing eating habits and physical activity patterns to enable putting forward a coherent strategy towards promoting healthy eating habits and activity patterns and using a systematic approach to develop, implement and monitor healthy eating and physical activity policies to evaluate overall society healthy lifestyle.
The project team idea is based on the challenges in the society with a critical age group (5-17 years), it was a joint decision by a selected group of dietitians to embark on a new initiative “Tahamas” which is fundamentally based on close coordination with schools’ administration as well as the families to enable reaching towards a community level awareness of the challenges and risks associated with obesity at such early age which pose a serious health risk on later phases.
Phase 1 of the project was conducted in Amman- Jordan:
- Tahamas project Started in year 2015, two awareness workshops for school managers and administrators were conducted by Tahamas dietitians team.
- The team worked with a set of 10 schools, a total of 5000 students were screened.
- The data acquired from the school children was assessed against the WHO growth charts (2007).
- Individualized cards were sent to every student parents indicating his weight chart results.
- Children with obesity were further assessed with scientifically approved body composition machines (Inbody).
- Presentation to every school about the results to emphasize the problems (obesity, overweight, underweight) to organize a health club at school to start helping the children.
- Educational materials about healthy eating patterns will be distributed to schools and children.
- Awareness lectures for parents, children and school staff were conducted by Tahamas team.
- Media coverage was conducted about Tahamas project to attain the attention and the compassion of the local community to solve the problem of childhood obesity.
The initiative will be expanding during the next phase starting October 2016 on a larger scale and cover a wide spectrum of the schools, from both public & private sectors, targeting to cover around 100,000 students of age range (5-18 years) with strong school and community engagement to maximize healthy eating and physical activity opportunities for students.