Half of Bahrain ‘lack on sleep’
Manama, October 9, 2010
More than half of Bahrain's population is unable to get the recommended eight hours of sleep a night, a recent survey said.
The findings, by Dubai-based Zarca Interactive, also found 69 per cent of the population do not have time for breakfast and 12 per cent do not consider the first meal of the day important.
Health experts described the results as "astonishing" and called for an intense education campaign to combat what they called people's "killer" lifestyles.
"The Bahrain survey has thrown up some astonishing findings that we wish the health authorities take note of," said Dubai-based Modern Medical Consultation Centre general physician Dr Samira Khatib.
The study was carried out among 200 people from a cross section of society in the last two months. Fifty-one per cent of the respondents were Bahrainis, while the others were Western and Asian expatriates. Of the respondents, 72 per cent were men.
"We have already known for a long time people in this part of the world do not get enough sleep, but the figure of 54 per cent is alarming," said Dr Khatib from Dubai. "This can lead to all kinds of problems, including attention deficiency and lack of concentration in children and enhanced sugar levels and increased blood pressure among adults."
Dr Khatib said the main culprit of the "sedentary revolution" in Bahrain was people's obsession with fast foods and soft drinks, an over-dependence on motor vehicles and an addiction to the Internet and television.
The survey points out 69 per cent of the people are obese or overweight while 67 per cent have fried and fatty foods at least twice a week.
It also revealed a large number of respondents (49 per cent) resort to television and the Internet to relieve stress. It says this could also be due to the fact that 66 per cent of the respondents brought home office work two or three times a week.
Results also indicate only 9 per cent of respondents exercised regularly, while 62 per cent admitted they had prolonged exposure to fresh air only on weekends.
On the positive side, the survey points out 53 per cent of people drink at least 1.5 litres of water a day.
On intake of vitamins, the survey said 49 per cent of the respondents considered them expensive and a waste of money, while 10 per cent continued with doses as prescribed by their doctor.
Health Ministry health education director Dr Amal Al Jowder said though she had no way to determine the authenticity of the survey results, Bahrain's health authorities constantly indulged in awareness campaigns to inspire the habit of exercising and healthy eating.
"There are educational campaigns being organised at the school and club levels and we have already achieved results," she said. "More efforts are on the way and we will announce these soon." – TradeArabia News Service