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While the world starves, the UAE gets fat

While the world starves, the UAE gets fat

In a world full of trouble and strife, many people go desperately hungry. In the UAE we have another problem – we’re eating too much.

May 26, 2010 2:52 by

Student teachers in the UAE have joined forces in a fight against child obesity, reports the National.

After starting teacher training in Abu Dhabi schools, three Zayed University students were shocked to see children as young as five who were already overweight.

“I’ve seen children in kindergarten who suffer from obesity and some have diabetes,” Nahla al Sayed told the paper. “Children in the UAE are suffering from many diseases they shouldn’t be suffering from.”

She and her classmates have now teamed up to continue a project started in 2008 by some other Zayed University students, which aims to create children’s health books in both Arabic and English.

A few pages later, the paper reports on a World Food Program event that will attempt to raise funds to help starving children around the world. The 5 km walk on a route around Dubai Mall is part of the global “Walk the World” campaign, a 24-hour relay that begins in New Zealand and finishes in Samoa. Money raised will go towards impoverished school children in the world’s most deprived communities.

Kipp thinks that maybe school children in the UAE should be forced to take part – the exercise would do them good, apparently.

But we can’t quite figure out why the event will be taking place in the Dubai Mall – it is, after all, one of the largest monuments to consumption on the planet. Perhaps the organizers are being ironic.

But they can’t top the irony that just arrived in Kipp’s inbox: A press release from Mars entitled, “Mars opens a New Chocolate Bars Factory in the UAE.” Clearly, here is a company that knows where its market is.

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1 Comment

  1. Jordana Tasker on May 27, 2010 9:11 am

    With regards to the ‘Walk the World’ taking place in The Dubai Mall we see Kipp’s point but frankly there are more reasons to do it there than not. Here is a list:
    * It is air-conditioned to guard against the Dubai desert heat
    * It is large enough to hold the thousands of people we expect to attend
    * It has excellent parking (a problem with other events of a similar scale)
    * Promotion of the Walk will take place in The Dubai Mall throughout the coming week – other venues don’t have that same kind of continuous audience
    * It is conveniently located and appealing, therefore a greater draw to more people
    * The Dubai Mall has been supportive from the beginning, offering the space without cost unlike a few other possible locations. This means more money can go to charity
    * The retailers themselves are able to get involved, promote the Walk to their shoppers for the week, send their own staff and hold collections all day Friday – meaning we collect more money for the feeding programmes

    Finally, if the objective is to get as many people as possible to turn up, raise awareness and donate money as possible The Dubai Mall may be an ironic choice, but it is certainly the smarter choice.

    Hope to see you there Kipp team!


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