Yair Amikam, the ministry's deputy director-general for information and international relations, recently launched a joint campaign with the Dairy Board aimed at fighting obesity among haredim.
Amikam stressed in a letter to the chairman of the ministerial Tender Committee that "the problem is seven times worse in the haredi sector than among seculars."
At first, Amikam stated, the Dairy Board and ministry would work to raise awareness to the issue among children and teenagers. The campaign was to be brought to the sector's members through a haredi radio children's show.
The campaign's cost was estimated at NIS 130,000 (about $36,000), divided between the different activities of the Dairy Board and Health Ministry.
"The haredi lifestyle focuses on the dinner table," explains Shifra Krimolovsky, the campaign's initiator. "Haredim eat and celebrate a lot. When a baby boy is born in the general sector there is just a circumcision ceremony, while the haredi sector holds different social events which include a lot of food.
"At the same time, they don't engage in any physical exercise. This is the reason we are launching a campaign which will begin with the children, with the aim of getting the mothers to learn about proper eating habits and physical activity."
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