Obesity in the UAE; a Growing Problem

Obesity in the UAE; a Growing ProblemAccording to the Centre for Strategic Healthcare Development (CSHD), a medical care and intervention unit in Dubai, UAE for Weight Loss and Gastric Bypass, Banding Surgery […], as well as consultation, guidance and support, obesity is a growing problem in the Arab Countries. In the UAE, CSHD states that over 60 per cent of Emirati nationals (children and adults) are overweight; this is a trend that is not slowing down and affects not only individuals but also the country that they live in too, as the World Health Organization (WHO) affirms.

Doctors use the terms “overweight” or “obese” to describe when someone is at risk of developing weight-related health problems.

Being overweight was once perceived in Arab countries as a sign of good health and financial success, but this is no longer the case. An excessive amount of body weight can lead to heart disease, diabetes and many other health issues. Being overweight can affect a person’s quality of life.

The Body Mass Index (BMI)—a number calculated from a person’s weight and height—can provide a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people. “Overweight is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher; obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or higher,” explains the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.gov) that provides users with credible, reliable health information.

In addition to a healthy eating plan, balancing the number of calories you consume, an active lifestyle will help you maintain your weight. Research suggests that staying active may lower a person’s chance of getting overweight or obese while able to help keep a body healthy and strong. To date, there are “a lot of initiatives in the UAE that are heading in the right direction,” said Dr. Muhammed Hamed Farooqi, consultant endocrinologist and director of the Dubai Diabetes Centre, regarding nutrition, physical-activity programs and other anti-obesity measures taken.

Dr. Farooqi believes that “the earlier the intervention, the better the outcome.” He suggests encouraging unfit men/women and children to improve their fitness by starting a physical activity program. However, it is important they get medical advice before they start a fitness and/or diet plan.

After an appropriate health screening, unhealthy and unfit people have the option to take part in aerobic activity or other physical activities that lead to weight loss and the burning of calories. In combination with making better food choices, the results are a fit, health-conscious person.
Many are the opportunities to begin the journey towards fitness.

 “Feel-good fitness classes” for women are available at Exhale Fitness Studio at Murjan 1, Plaza Level, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai Marina, Dubai. It is a facility dedicated to providing quality Yoga, Pilates, Body Toning and Dance Fitness classes.

At the Abu Dhabi Country Club there is an exclusive health & fitness club with a gym, various conditioning and aerobic classes, a temperature controlled outdoor swimming pool, and more.

Fitness First UAE is a place that is passionate about helping its members to achieve their health and fitness goals. Their mission is “To make the world a fitter place”. For particulars, visit http://www.fitnessfirstme.com/UAE/blog.

Obesity in the UAE; a Growing Problem

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