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Increasing rates of Obesity and Diabetes in the UAE

By Lifeline Hospital, Health & Wellness Partner


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Lifeline Hospital
Health & Wellness Partner


February 02, 2019

Obesity is on the rise and UAE is not looking good compared to other countries. Over 2.1 billion people, which is approximately 30% of the global population, are overweight, according to data presented by the World Health Organization. A major consequence of people being obese and overweight is a high risk of getting type 2 diabetes. The International Diabetes Association has released data showing that, during the World Diabetes Day in November last year, there were 803.900 diabetics in the UAE, which is approximately 19% of the entire population.

This is a huge number. Just imagine what the number will be in 2030! We need to take care of ourselves, especially the younger generations. It is estimated that 1.8 million people in the UAE could get diabetes within a few years. Diabetes is a major health issue and the number of diabetic people is on the rise, so we need to raise awareness about this disease. Diabetes can be avoided by simply losing weight, eating better and doing more exercise.

Obesity in UAE Is Twice the World Rate

According to a disease study report, obesity in the UAE is double the world’s average. A report entitled “Global Burden of Disease Study 2013” shows that over 66% of men and 60% of women living in the UAE are obese and overweight. Almost 47.5 percent of UAE residents are obese, with a BMI between 25 and 30. The average BMI is 25.6, so the average UAE resident can be considered overweight. Almost 40% of children ages 11 to 16 years and 5% of children under the age of 11 are obese, so these kids are likely to grow into obese adults.

When compared to global numbers, UAE doesn’t really stand well. This a substantial issue in the UAE, and all the evidence is showing that it is only getting worse. The economic burden of obesity is $6 billion every year. Obesity is costing the world $2 trillion a year, which is almost as expensive as smoking and armed conflict. The obesity rate represents a national crisis and it is basically a ticking time bomb.

How Do People End Up Being Obese In the UAE?

Obesity and Diabetes Rates Increase in the UAE. Many point out that this is due to a poor lifestyle, lack of activity, long working hours and mainly because of the high temperatures during the summer. Also, the readily available fast food is not of much help. But, are these the right excuses? Many experts say no. They do not agree that the UAE lifestyle has contributed to the rise in obesity.

People who are obese are 85% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, and almost 50% of people who have it, especially type 2, don’t know that they have it. So, people need to get screened on time. Anyone who has a family history of diabetes or leads an unhealthy lifestyle and notices a growing “tummy”, needs to get screened for diabetes because if caught on time, it can be reversed.

Diabetes is also called the chronic silent disease, where sugar levels in the blood rise to an extremely high level or drop so low that the person can go into a coma. If this disease is not treated, the high sugar will damage the blood vessels, and these high sugar levels can cause blindness. The same goes for nerves; it can make them overly sensitive or, quite the opposite, cause the loss of sensation.

Basically, if you are obese, you are abusing your body, and diabetes is not the only disease you can suffer from. Obesity can also cause cardiovascular diseases, cancer, skin diseases, blockage of arteries and osteoporosis. So, do not wait any longer and book your appointment with a certified team of doctors and get screened today, because prevention can sometimes be the best cure. Start taking care of yourself, and get screened for diabetes as soon as you can.

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