The UAE has a growing obesity problem. Are you changing your lifestyle?
The results are in.
December 6, 2009 2:24 by Aarti Nagraj
The UAE is one of fattest countries in the world; the World Health Organization (WHO) has ranked it 18th on the list of countries with the maximum number of overweight and obese people. Between 60 and 70 percent of the country’s population is estimated to be overweight.
According to our poll, residents in the country seem to be taking steps to tackle the growing problem; 33 percent of our respondents said that they have changed their food habits and now exercise regularly.
The global ‘Healthy Living’ survey conducted by market research firm Synovate in July this year found that the UAE tops the list of countries where people are likely to respond to weight gain with physical activity. The country also tops the list for those who are most likely to tackle tubbiness by reducing food intake, with 19 percent of the UAE’s respondents claiming they battle fat with herbs or supplements.
“The UAE is an expat-heavy (pun intended!) population and moving here leads to weight gain for many expats. Here it is famously known as the ‘Dubai stone’,” Adelina Mustata, Synovate UAE’s qualitative research director said in the release. “When they realize what has happened, many expatriates take multiple measures to go back to their original weight.”
A recent study undertaken by lifestyle company VLCC also found that 98 percent of overweight expatriates in the UAE blamed living in the country for making them fat. About 20 percent said that they ate fast food or takeaway meals three to four times a week, and about 92 percent of people said they were either trying to lose weight or planned to do so in the future.
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