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MENA professionals think they are healthy…so they must be
A recent survey from Bayt.com has found that 68.3 percent of MENA professionals consider their eating habits to be healthy-Kipp is skeptical.
March 11, 2012 5:01 by p.deleon
Over the last month Bayt.com surveyed more than 13,713 respondents from across 12 countries in the MENA region about their eating and exercising habits. As we so subtly pointed out in our headline, the survey found that 68.3 percent of MENA professionals consider their eating habits to be healthy. Well, if they think they are healthy, then they must be healthy. Take it away Bayt.com VP Suhail Masri:
“There is a common misconception that the life of a professional is sedentary and unhealthy, however our poll demonstrates that the vast majority of people in the MENA region are aware of what constitutes a healthy lifestyle and claim to adhere to one.”
The survey found that while 24.6 percent say they dine out on a daily basis, 31.8 percent say that they do so ‘very rarely’. As far as eating habits go, professionals say they eat two (41.3 percent) or three (39.8 percent) meals a day.
And as for their love for caffeine, about 1 in 3 (28.8 percent) say they do not have any coffee on a daily basis.
But let’s get back to the eating healthy bit—only 31.7 percent of respondents stated that they consider their eating habits to be unhealthy. Really? Can MENA’s working world really say they are chomping on carrots and not chips? Or downing water and sugar-free juice instead of coffee and soda?
We’d bring out the big guns to protest this statistic but since the survey covered the entire MENA region and not just the less than athletic GCC states, we are willing to consider the findings. After all, a Gallup poll last year revealed that nearly 90 per cent of Emiratis and Arab expatriates claimed to be “satisfied with their health.” But wait, could this be a case of positive thinking? After all, it’s easier to justify that extra pizza slice if you tell yourself you are ‘generally healthy’ anyway, right?
It is all very well to have an optimistic attitude, but when the UAE often qualifies for a slot on the list of obesity levels, alarm bells go off in our head. There is a real need for action and placating any leading surveys like this one do little to help the cause.