Obesity rate at 72pc among Saudi adults
Riyadh, March 12, 2014
More than 72 per cent of Saudi Arabian adults over 40 are overweight, while there is an 18 per cent obesity rate among children, a report said.
About 50 per cent of Saudi women and a third of men do not take up any physical activity, the report in Arab News added, quoting a Health Ministry poll.
Dr Anwar Masoud, a dietician at a private hospital in Jeddah, blames lack of awareness for the obesity issue in the kingdom.
“Many Saudis don’t understand how dangerous it is to be overweight. They don’t even undergo a checkup unless they feel tired or pain,” Dr Masoud was quoted as saying in the report.
“We have launched many campaigns, but Saudis want the easy way out. Many undergo bypass surgery and liposuction to look slimmer and feel lighter.”
Women also shy away from physical exercise owing to harassment in the streets and expensive gyms and diet programmes, the report said.
According to Dr Masoud, social responsibility programmes at hospitals could offer help to those finding it difficult to lose weight.
“The Ministry of Education should also launch an awareness program to help students understand the impact of gaining weight,” he said.