According to the Global Obesity Observatory, Saudi Arabia has one of the highest obesity rates in the world, with 50% of the population considered clinically overweight. Obesity-related diseases also amount to approximately 20,000 deaths a year, making it a leading cause of fatality in the Kingdom. When Ariyadiyah, Saudi Arabia’s leading sports newspaper noticed that more people in Saudi prefer to read about sports, than participate in it, it decided to take action.
On World Health Day, we decided to remove our newspaper from the racks, and put them on the streets. Instead of printing the news that day, we printed life-size editions that people could play sports on, encouraging our readers to embrace physical activity.
Newspaper courts were placed in 10 locations across the Saudi capital, driving hundreds of people to turn up to enjoy a basketball or football game, and ultimately experience the healthy benefits of exercise. The courts, launched on April 7th, remain on the streets of Riyadh today encouraging people to remain active, not just on Health Day, but every day. The campaign film, released on April 8th instantly trended on Twitter taking the number 1 spot in Saudi Arabia for several hours, opening a conversation on the importance of battling obesity and the risk it poses to Saudi society.
Discussion about this post