Bahrain residents 'getting healthier'
Manama, February 27, 2012
People in Bahrain are getting healthier eating organic food and adopting the habit of eating three meals a day, according to a survey.
An independent study carried out by Dubai-based company Zarca Interactive found 84 per cent of respondents were having breakfast on a daily basis, compared to 69 per cent in 2010.
A total of 78 per cent of people have adopted the healthy habit of eating three meals a day.
Half of respondents were also eating organic food, although a third of the expatriates said it was not important to them.
The survey said 35 per cent of the respondents considered multi-vitamins expensive and a waste of money, with only 25 per cent saying they continue to take a daily dose.
Forty per cent of people interviewed also said they went to the doctor for an annual check-up. More than 80 per cent said they checked the expiry dates before buying foodstuff.
The study revealed the vast majority of respondents had taken up sporting activities to relieve their stress, instead of watching television.
However, one in five Bahrainis admitted to never undertake any form of exercise.
More than 40 per cent of respondents do not bring home work every day and approximately 19 per cent confirmed they carry work home or work overtime in office two to three times a week.
"The findings have presented equilibrium of awareness about calculating Body Mass Index (BMI) with over 40 per cent respondents confirming that they knew how to calculate it," said Zarca Interactive executive director and Middle East and Africa head Javed Farooqui.
"These findings were complemented by the fact that 58pc respondents found themselves slightly overweight with approximately two-thirds (67 per cent) of younger age group (25-34) feeling they were slightly overweight."
Farooqui said the survey found 37 per cent of overall respondents claimed to be in the appropriate weight zone.
A total of 300 people were interviewed as part of the study, of which 63 per cent were Bahraini and more than 34 per cent were Asian expatriates and 3 per cent Western expatriates.
Health Ministry health promotion director Dr Amal Al Jowder welcomed the findings, which showed a significant improvement from a 2010 study.
"It is fulfilling to see that the percentage of healthy habits has improved and risen in a short period in Bahrain, with more people opting for a balanced lifestyle," she said.
"Walking, drinking plenty of water, consuming breakfast and healthy snacking is being adopted by everyone."
Dr Al Jowder said the study had encouraged officials to consider periodic research studies to assess the behaviours and lifestyles of people in Bahrain.
"We would also like to call upon the private sector to be a key partner with us to achieve a healthy and well balanced lifestyle," she said.
A survey published by the GDN in October 2010 found that more than half of Bahrain's population was unable to get the recommended eight hours of sleep a night.
It also said 69 per cent of the population did not have time for breakfast and 12 per cent did 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 people's "killer" lifestyles.-TradeArabia News Service