Wellness From Home Kitchen With Dawsat: Mas Watad

Mas Watad

We recently had the privilege of interviewing Mas Watad, Founder of Dawsat. Mas Watad’s passion for helping her community’s well-being and teaching them the right way to adopt a healthy lifestyle led her to found Dawsat. She is an active member of Arab society and social media, along with organizing workshops and offering lectures to share her knowledge globally.

In this interactive session, Mas Watad shares her career trajectory, her aspirations to help her community avoid obesity and its repercussions, having a unique approach to her business, and how technology is aiding her goals.

The Path To Current Position

We started the interview by asking, “Could you describe your career journey and the pivotal experiences that shaped your path to becoming a leader in your industry?”

Mas Watad shared, “When I was 10 years old, I was already an entrepreneur, having compiled a handmade magazine on wellness and nutrition and sold 30 copies to all my classmates. Since then, I have been obsessed with improving the well-being of my community. I knew then that I wanted to become a leader in the future because I wanted to devote myself to health and wellness.

I studied Clinical Dietetics at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem with the ambition to prevent diabetes and other diseases through lifestyle changes. After receiving my bachelor’s degree, I realized that my community would not abandon traditional food in favor of a Western diet, so I sought to create a solution. I developed a new food measurement unit called Dawsat, which stands for calories, protein, and fat, and designed as a point system for the Arab kitchen based on Arabic food.”

Mas Watad added, “Starting small, I established a weight loss support group in my home for 10 women, using the Dawsat method. The group quickly grew from 10 to 100 women in just 3 months, proving the effectiveness of group work over individual efforts. Over ten years, I continued to research and experiment in Arab villages and sectors, eventually turning my idea into a trademark. My travels to different villages, each with its unique culture, showed the universal success of Dawsat. I am now seen as the Oprah of the Arab sector, with my audience appreciating the weight loss and healthy diet changes Dawsat has enabled. Hosting the first health and weight loss conference in the Arab sector, which attracted over 2,000 women, marked the beginning of a decade of successful annual events.

In 2003, I published a leaflet on eating during Ramadan, leading to a significant interest that inspired me to compile a magazine distributed to 30,000 members of the Arab community and collaborating companies annually. This magazine, now also available digitally with over 100,000 downloads, provides essential health information for Ramadan. Collaborating with the Leumit National Health Fund and a team of specialized dietitians, trainers, and psychologists, we have supported over 60,000 success stories. Together with Tali Singer, we expanded this success to the Middle East with the Dawsat app, integrating sales and marketing technology to reach homes across the region. Recently, I moved the company headquarters and my family to Abu Dhabi.”

Promotion Of Community’s Well-Being

We were intrigued to learn more about the evolving visions and priorities of Mas Watad’s business over the years. So, we asked, “As your company has grown and faced various challenges, how has your original vision evolved to meet these changes?”

Mas Watad replied, “My vision has always centered on promoting health and creating a safe environment where people feel comfortable sharing their experiences, underpinned by the power of community. This vision has evolved in response to community needs, leading to the Dawsat solution offering a culturally relevant, technology-based health coach. Dawsat’s digital tools and mobile app simplify personalized weight loss information, making it accessible on the go.

The Dawsat weight loss method, a points-based system, allows for dietary flexibility, incorporating traditional dishes and activities. With content and a database tailored to Arabic culture, Dawsat fosters sustainable lifestyle changes. Our health coaches and online communities alleviate the loneliness often associated with weight loss, making the journey more enjoyable.”

Technology-Based Health Programs

The health industry is undergoing a massive transformation and this will continue in the upcoming years as well. So, we asked, “Looking at the horizon, which emerging trend do you believe is undervalued but will significantly impact your industry in the next few years?”

Mas Watad replied, “Global obesity rates have tripled in recent years, with the MENA region seeing some of the highest increases. Nine of the ten most obese countries are in the MENA region, with over 80% of women in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait being overweight or obese. Obesity, a primary risk factor for diseases like diabetes, contributes to 30-50% of new diabetes cases.

The epidemic levels of diabetes in the Arab world, 65% higher than the global average, alongside the significant healthcare costs associated with obesity and diabetes, highlight the urgent need for effective weight loss strategies. The most effective way to reduce diabetes is to reduce obesity.”

Mas Watad added, “Pre-diabetics can reduce their chance of developing diabetes by 50% by losing 5-7% of their body weight. As many know, losing weight is hard, and this is especially the case in the Arab world. Losing weight is complicated as science changes, and the plethora of information can be confusing and complicated to follow. The most cutting-edge nutrition information and research is rarely based on the Arab population and rarely made accessible to Arab speakers.

Diet food isn’t tasty, and Western diet programs rely on foods that are not relevant to non-Western culture. Losing weight can be a lonely journey. Dawsat’s culturally relevant, technology-based coaching addresses these challenges, offering a solution that is both accessible and tailored to the Arab population.”

Assessing The Right Strategy

Owning a business comes with the responsibility of assessing the right strategy for the same. To learn how Mas Watad does the same for her business, we asked, “In the transforming environment of your industry, how do you assess when it’s time to pivot your strategy versus when to stay the course?”

Mas Watad shared, “The efficacy of our approach is evidenced by our results: participants in our online support groups lose about 9% of their body weight and keep it off. Over 60,000 success stories inform our data-driven protocols.”

Setting Dawsat Apart

Amidst the tough competition, it is paramount to offer unique experiences to stand out. To learn more about the services of Mas Watad’s company, we asked, “With so many players in your field, how does your service offering distinguish itself? Could you share the inspiration behind one of your key services?”

Mas Watad shared, “Despite the growing awareness of the importance of preventive health, global teachers are only now starting to address the MENA audience. The local market is fragmented between Arabic content, home-testing, gyms, and physicians’ clinics. Nobody but Dawsat is bringing together advanced technology, home-grown Arabic culture, and cutting-edge nutrition science to transform the region’s wellness trajectory. If there were a real solution to combat obesity and overweight, we wouldn’t be talking now.

Drug-based solutions and food restriction programs are not effective in the long term. The method of Dawsat relies on understanding and providing solutions to one’s needs by changing habits. The real competitor would be Weight Watchers International, a method in the USA that deals with a different audience. Hence, Dawsat is unique in this culture. I have the power of science, technology, and community to transform lives and improve wellness.”

Addressing Core Issues

We further asked, “Sustainability and social responsibility are critical in the current business world. How have you integrated these principles into the fabric of your company, and why do you think it’s essential for your sector?”

Mas Watad responded, “Dawsat addresses these issues to the core. Sustainability and social responsibility are founding principles for society, combating health issues for this and the next generation. Women, as a fundamental part of the family nucleus, expand the principles of healthy eating to the whole family, promoting health not only in the current but also in future generations. 20% of our users are men. We indeed see that women implement the system for the whole family. Dawsat has become a family lifestyle.”

Driving A Change, we asked Mas Watad

Technology is playing a crucial role in reshaping the services of every business. We asked, “How is technology playing a role in helping your company move forward?”

Mas Watad shared, “I think the power of technology to transform wellness in the MENA region is important to us, so we work hard to improve our app and technology to arrive at the right points to help people be healthy.”

Flourishing Dawsat

We ended the session by asking, “As we look into the future, faced with both opportunities and uncertainties, how are you positioning your company to not just survive but flourish?”

Mas Watad concluded, “I am confident that Dawsat is the best solution in the Arab world, and this has already been recognized by the Ministry of Health in Israel and health insurance.”

Follow Mas Watad on LinkedIn.

Find Tally Zingher on LinkedIn.

Find Dawsat on LinkedIn and visit their website https://www.Dawsat.com/

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