40pc in UAE ‘overweight or obese’
Abu Dhabi, September 29, 2011
Forty per cent of respondents in a recent survey in the UAE were found to be overweight to obese, while 70 per cent are more likely to consult the Internet than a doctor for health related information.
The survey, conducted by the National Health Insurance Company - Daman, focused on six key areas related to health: current health and wellness concerns, knowledge of health related issues, diet and nutrition, levels of physical activity, health related communication trends, and commuting habits and behaviors. Ipsos, a third party International research company, conducted the survey.
The study comprised of face-to-face interviews that were conducted with UAE residents in February and March of this year.
A random and representative population sample in line with published 2005 census data of males and females between the ages of 18-55 were targeted across the emirates, with respondents representing a range of nationalities, including Emiratis, Arab expats, Asians, and westerners.
“Ultimately, what this survey means for our members, and for the UAE population at large, is that public health is being considered seriously by a health insurer,” said Dr Michael Bitzer, chief executive officer of Daman.
“The data gives us a snapshot of the current health climate; we plan to use this information to serve our members with products that suit their lifestyles, initiate relevant community health events, and support local health initiatives. We see this as an opportunity to encourage the local community to get as involved in their own personal wellbeing as possible,” he added.
Chief commercial officer of Daman Dr Sven Rohte further explained: “A survey of this scale offers an in-depth view of the current health scene across the country; in a nation as diverse and multicultural as the UAE, such information is invaluable.”
“The data will allow us to enhance the existing high quality of services we offer our 2.1 million subscribers, and has the potential to contribute to improving awareness on health issues. This survey aims to develop insights to enrich our knowledge and support Daman’s public communication efforts with factual information.”
“We had four key research objectives in conducting this survey - to identify key issues regarding health and lifestyle habits, to promote healthy lifestyle choices across the UAE population, to create awareness surrounding key health concerns, and to remain abreast of changes and developments on the level of healthiness of the country’s lifestyle habits. We are confident this data will allow us to meet each of these goals,” Dr Rohte concluded. – TradeArabia News Service
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