By Sarah Townsend
Bahrain opens sixth health eating centre while Qatar urges obese government staff to lose weight
Gulf states are ramping up efforts to reduce obesity, with Bahrain opening a new centre for healthy eating after Ramadan, and a Qatar ministry launching a programme to cut obesity among its staff.
A report by the World Health Organization (WHO) last month revealed that almost half of women in most GCC countries are classed as overweight.
Its 2015 World Health Statistics report claimed that 49.7 percent of women in Qatar over the age of 18 are clinically obese, 45.9 percent in Kuwait, 45.1 percent in the UAE, 44.1 percent in Saudi Arabia, 42.8 percent in Bahrain and 37 percent in Oman.
Gulf Daily News reported on Sunday that Bahrain plans to open a healthy eating advice clinic to help tackle obesity.
Dr Nadia Gharib, head of the Health Ministry Nutrition Section told the newspaper that the centre is being opened in response to a rise in the number of overweight and obese Bahrainis in recent years.
“There is rising demand for these nutrition management centres,” she was quoted as saying.
“Obesity is on the rise in Bahrain and, in line with that, the demand is increasing for these centres.
“I am not exaggerating when I say there is a long waiting list for these centres – in some cases, people have to wait as long as four months.”
The new centre will be the sixth facility of its kind in Bahrain and open at the Yousuf Abdulrahman Engineer Health Centre, in Isa Town.
Meanwhile, the Peninsula reported that Qatar’s Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning has launched a programme intended to help overweight and obese employees to lose weight during Ramadan.
Under the programme, which is reportedly being run in partnership with Primary Healthcare Corporation, participants’ weight will be measured at nearby clinics and they will be given advice on by dieticians on nutrition and healthy eating habits to overcome obesity.
After Ramadan participants will be weighed again, the newspaper reported.