Qatar world's most overweight nation - report

Lack of exercise and fast food has led to high levels of diabetes

Qatar is the most overweight country on the planet.

Qatar is the most overweight country on the planet.

Qatar, which has the highest per capita wealth in the world, is also the obesity capital of the world, with over half the population overweight, according to a report in the UK.

The energy-rich Gulf State, which was ranked by Forbes this year as the world’s wealthiest country, has seen an increase in obesity related health problems, according to a report in the UK’s Daily Mail.

Half of all adults in the state are classed as obese and 17 percent are suffering from diabetes, making it the most overweight country in the world, the report said.

By way of comparison, a third of Americans are classed as obese and eight percent suffer from diabetes.

An unhealthy combination of low levels of exercise and a growing popularity of fast food outlets has led to concern among local health activists.

“It's a very, very serious problem facing the future of Qatar,” Sharoud Al-Jundi Matthis, the programme manager at the Qatar Diabetes Association, was quoted as saying.

Qataris make up just 250,000 of a population of 1.7m and the government hopes the development of sport in the country, through the hosting of the FIFA World Cup 2022 and bidding for the Olympic Games in 2020, will help boost interest in exercise and outdoor pursuits.

“Our main focus is encouraging people to be active, getting them to lead healthy lifestyles - that's our vision,” Maher Safi, marketing director at the Qatar Olympic Committee, said in the report.

“In the past few years, the committee has launched public programmes administering free body-mass indexes and sugar level tests, disseminated material about healthy eating, and introduced initiatives to schools to help children learn about new sports, like handball, tennis, and bicycling,” he added.

The issue of diabetes is a growing problem in the region, with the number of people suffering from the disease in MENA expected to double in less than 20 years, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) said in November.

Data from its global study indicates that the number of people living with diabetes is expected to rise from 366m in 2011 to 552m by 2030.

In the region, 32.6m or 9.1 percent of the population now have diabetes, the IDF said.

It added that this number is expected to double, with estimates suggesting that there are as many as 19.2m people undiagnosed.

The new regional figures also show that the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the region for younger age groups is substantially higher than the global average.

The IDF said that by 2030, 11 percent of MENA, 59.7m people, will be living with diabetes.

It added that six out of the world's top ten countries with the highest prevalence of diabetes are in the region.

Dr Amir-Kamran Nikousokhan Tayar, MENA chair at IDF, said: "It is now more vital than ever that we adopt a multi-sectoral approach to tackling diabetes.

"We need to encourage governments in our countries to take a 'Health in All Policies' approach and encourage people, in particular parents, to educate themselves on the risks associated with diabetes and to know the signs."

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Posted by: Lambdavi

I am Italian but my wife is a Christian arab, so I can say I know and enjoy the best of both worlds.
In the old days people were not necessarily "fit", but there was a remarkable tendency to be "lean"- most home did not have heating, few copuld boast an elevator/lift, most people had to walk to work (or used public transport) I personally walked quite a few Km/day to go to school and back.
Nowadays everybody will take the elevator/lift even ofr just one floor, will drive to go shopping even if you waste more time looking for a place to park than you would by walking there, everybody stuffs their faces with unnecessary sugars and fats in all forms and sizes...
When people eat in a balanced way, even the mildest exercise is sufficient; however, I do not see "Quatari girls doing athletics" in the future, just like I do not see it happening in any other place in the Arabic world, for cultural reasons.
A girl from a "proper" family will lead a quiet and dignified life until she is wed.

Posted by: Eduardo Kawak

This article fails to mention that the statistics the Daily Mail report cites relate to the Qatari population only, not the entire population of Qatar which includes over 1.5 million expats.

I see the Qatari health issues as being an unwelcome side effect of the country sharing its immense wealth with its people only two generations out of relative poverty, who now have everything served to them on a platter.

The Labour Law that excludes housemaids, drivers and labourers, and the mandatory business model of 51% Qatari ownership for any business in the country regardless of the contribution of the Qatari owner to the running of the business, also seem designed to make life as easy as possible for Qataris.

The above contribute to the potential lack of necessity for Qataris to even get out of bed in the morning.

The small mercy is that 50% of Qataris are not obese. Education and responsible parenting would help, but the govt. could also look at how much it favours the locals.

Posted by: His Excellency Dr Paul

Diet is only part of the problem; the biggest issues that need to be tackled are lack of exercise, lack of self-respect and lack of willpower.

Nobody should look in the mirror if obese and be happy to accept that. It is 100% under your own control, it all goes in through that little hole under your nose. You just need to want to do something about it, and have the mental strength to carry it through.

If you give kids everything they want, without having to work for it, they're going to grow up fat. Kids need to learn willpower just like they need to learn to read and write.

Posted by: Thamir Ghaslan

Cut your carbs for maximum effect!

I've cut rice and bread from my daily diet and dropped 5 kilos, from 80 to 75, in two weeks. Used to be chicken and rice and now chicken only.

People wonder about obesity and diabetic, over consumption of rice is the problem.

I look at "low fat" and "low calories" in a different light now, people over consume carbs and sugars here.

Posted by: Mick

It's not just diet. Anyone that is fit will tell you that they don't sit on their bum all day eating granola and tofu. They usually eat burgers and fish and chips and drink beer etc but they burn it all off. It's exercise that is the key. The body's metabolism must be built up at an early age or it will be slow for the life of the person. Sometimes you have the right genes but local kids need to get out. I actually saw a 5 year old kid in a stroller the other day in MoE pushed by a nanny. I couldnt believe it. Have a good diet but stop being seated 50% of the day. Australian scientiests did a report that stated that if a person sits for morethan 11 hours a day there is a 50% or more chance they will die within 3 years if maintaining this lifestyle.

Posted by: qathar

17 percent thats tooooo much population.they must do samthing to redice the thing.

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